Two weeks until Brexit, Kixto’s assessment in two lines:
We think Britain’s trade with Europe will continue almost unaffected until 2021 and, after then, changes are likely to be modest. We have contingency plans and can react fast if we need to.
In June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union. Parliament set this in motion on 29 March, 2017 by giving the EU two years’ notice that we would leave on 29 March, 2019. Until then, Britain remains a full member of the EU.
Two weeks to go
The UK and EU have negotiated a “Withdrawal Agreement”. This sets out a plan for negotiating a new trade deal and an intended date of 1 January, 2021 to switch over. However, the UK Parliament is currently refusing to approve it.
The outcome on 29 March 2019, in order of probability, will be one of:
- Parliament gives way and accepts the Withdrawal Agreement in preference to leaving without a deal. If this happens, Britain will continue trading with the EU on current terms until 2021 at least.
- Parliament asks and the EU agrees to delay Britain’s leaving date while another solution is developed. A delay of at least six months, possibly a year, would be required.
- Britain leaves without a deal. In a non-binding vote (13 March, 2019) Parliament rejected this, though it remains possible.
For “no deal” to be completely ruled-out, Parliament must accept (1) the Withdrawal Agreement or (2) a significant delay. We expect MPs will blink at the 11th hour and accept the Withdrawal Agreement, with the effect that our access to the EU will remain unchanged until 2021 and we’ll get lots of notice of the new trading arrangements that will come into effect after then.