Julie Duane, Solicitor Advocate at CG Professional.
On 11 April 2019, the UK and EU agreed to negotiate an extended deadline until 31 October 2019. This was implemented in order to try and reach a compromise agreement between the UK and EU, however, since then, various disruptions have occurred to the UK government causing instability and uncertainty. Aside from the significant depletion in the value of the pound, further turmoil is likely to ensue.
Since Boris Johnson’s appointment to Prime Minister, there has been no question regarding his manifesto in that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October 2019 “Come what May” (no pun intended!).
Despite the previous speculation that this was bravado and that Johnson would retreat from this position, it appears that the UK has now faced the full metal of his words and that his intention to leave is exactly what it means. As the UK continues to maintain its stance that the Irish backstop needs removing from the existing withdrawal agreement, European diplomats have maintained the view that the deal offered is non-negotiable. Despite this, there has been a variety of concerns and disarray caused by statements of no deals which include the government reporting the possibility of school closures and food shortages under a no Brexit deal.
According to an investigation by the Guardian, it would also appear that EU citizens are being refused universal credit, despite having the legal right to reside in the UK as a result of the disruption. It is deemed that this has arisen out of various EU nationals without UK citizenship being refused their application because of the incorrect decision to refuse the application. As a result, individuals are having to wait approximately 40 weeks for an appeal hearing thereby sustaining ongoing losses during this time.
It is also envisaged that from a legal perspective, the disorder caused by a no deal, could result in a £3.5 billion hit to prevent lawyers access to the European market and impede approximately 10,000 jobs. It has also been noted that the FCA has been granted a six months extension period in order to bring into the regulations rules that would come into effect in the event of a no deal Brexit which is rapidly approaching. In addition, the pound has continued to slump and is now at a 29-year low amid fears of a no deal Brexit.
Although it is hoped and envisioned that the threat of a no-deal exit could encourage negotiations between the EU and the UK to prevent such a scenario, this is effectively a gamble and could lead to severe disruption to the economy posing a fundamental risk to the UK economy, putting many jobs and livelihoods at risk.
If you have any questions regarding this article, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the CG Professional team who would be more than happy to help.