Delaying Brexit or Leaving the EU with no Deal

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Thank you for being so patient with me everyone! Hi, so I’m bringing some more tension in the room with some updates on the preparations for Brexit. Last month, Prime Minister May’s 585-page withdrawal agreement was rejected by lawmakers by one of the greatest margins in British history. This led her to propose that if her deal is rejected again, by March 12th, she will give MPs the choice between delaying Brexit or leaving the EU with no deal. While a delay, could mean a lesser risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, it is after all merely a delay, that will meet its fate in a newer deadline. But the extension could also mean that May’s deal will be accepted just to avoid an even more disastrous case of a no deal departure, perhaps leaving the Parliament with a Hobson’s choice.

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However, any extension to the article 50 negotiating period will only be granted with the unanimous agreement of the 28 European members of course. On the other hand, momentum for a second referendum has grown in recent months, backed by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn for one but it is not clear how many lawmakers and parts of the British public actually want a do-over. So, you all might be wondering, what will a no-deal Brexit really mean, why it could be so disastrous. Firstly, there will be no remaining agreements between Britain and the EU on how to manage customs, trade, travel or citizens’ rights. Secondly, the transition period from March 2019 to December 2020 which is supposed to give businesses additional time to respond to the changes will also no longer exist, leaving firms in limbo. Deeper into trade, the end of zero-tariff trade would be likely to increase the price of some goods, lead to shortages, and cause significant delays on both sides of the Channel. Along with risking access to EU’s market, Britain would also lose access to all the countries with which the EU has signed trade deals, such as Canada, Japan and Mexico.

Tariffs brings us to one of the most contentious issue of Brexit and a big controversy with the draft withdrawal agreement, that is how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The no deal Brexit would create chaos with the Republic of Ireland having an EU obligation to put up a customs frontier to protect the EU market from sub-standard goods, while the UK would have pressure from the World Trade Organization to erect its own border. A hard border then could inflame nationalist sentiment, acting as a catalyst for civil unrest. It could also affect farmers close to the border with the complication of moving livestock as Northern Ireland’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture than anywhere else in the UK. However, the free movement of people for one, should be unaffected, as set by the Common Travel Area independent and predating to the EU. That is all I have for you now. But if you’d like more information on this, the Economist is running a series of articles on the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on everything from trade to universities and research, cars to retailing and distribution.     

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Delaying Brexit or Leaving the EU With No Deal. (2020, Apr 24). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from
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