The March 29th deadline for Brexit is next week. And still no deal – folks, it is time to get concerned. The U.K. has agreed to rule out a no deal Brexit but the E.U. may give an ultimatum – stay or go now.
British Prime Minister Teresa May has formally proposed delaying the Brexit deadline until June 30. 1 However; the EU has warned that this short-term extension will only be possible if May can get parliament to approve her deal prior to the original deadline (29 March). This deal has already been voted down by parliament twice (by very wide margins), so third time is likely not the charm. If the deal does not pass, a request for a much longer extension is possible or a hard exit on March 29th may be the end result.
While it seems logical that the E.U. should approve an extension given the lack of alternatives, the approval could include conditions including a second referendum on Brexit.
A softer Brexit may be one option. On that front, momentum may be growing. Opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, received attention for reaching out to MPs for cross-party talks. 2 Included among the invitees are MPs who back a soft Brexit. Also included are MPs who support a second referendum.
Even with an extension, the path to a deal remains complicated. It’s also worth remembering that this is only the negotiation phase. How Britain and the E.U. actually execute the terms of a divorce and the separation remains to be seen.
The British Pound has weakened relative to the US Dollar despite the more dovish than expected recent Fed statements. This was predominantly due to a no deal Brexit still being a possibility despite the UK’s parliament agreeing to rule it out.
The original concept of Brexit was to have the UK be the decider of its own fate, there has to be some irony that their fate has moved beyond their own control into the hands of those they were trying to “escape”.