Brexit Article 50: Part 50

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With less than a month left for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the House of Commons, saying that a decisive vote will take place by March the 12th on trying to leave the EU with the current deal. If that is voted down, she said that by the next day (13th of March), a new motion will be voted upon in the House to decide if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. And if that too, is rejected, the House will, on the next day (14th of March, for those keeping track) decide on a short period of extension of Article 50. If the House does vote for an extension, the Prime Minister will take it to the EU and try to work out the same with the powers that be in Brussels.

The Leader of The Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn responded to her statement saying, “We believe in getting the terms of our exit right – that’s why we believe in our alternative plan…We cannot risk our country’s industry and people’s livelihoods and so if it somehow does pass in some form at a later stage, we believe there must be a confirmatory public vote to see if people feel that’s what they voted for…A no-deal outcome would be disastrous.”

Right now, with the 29th of March deadline approaching, and with the Prime Minister’s deal being anything but satisfactory, it appears that the UK is headed towards either a no-deal Brexit or an extension of Article 50. And the chances are, given the fact that the EU has previously stated that this is the best deal that the UK was going to get from them, it might very well be the former. Even if Article 50 is extended, which I believe it needs to be, I doubt the EU is going to allow its position of advantage to go to waste so eventually, whatever deal does come on the table, it won’t be a good one for the UK.

From a business and trading perspective, Article 50 needs to be extended. Even though the government has been preparing for a no-deal Brexit since December 2018, the time remaining now is too short to allow for effective mitigation of any problems that might arise from a nodeal Brexit even if the government takes unilateral action on certain issues. Plus, the unpreparedness of businesses and trading entities for a no-deal Brexit means that

extending Article 50 is the most sensible way to go about it, a time period which will allow for effective planning and management of the crisis if not anything else.

Last modified: 13th March 2019

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