20th November 2017
A lot has happened on Brexit in recent weeks and this post sets out what some general views as to where we are now in this adventure (or misadventure, depending on taste).
There is one thing which is more likely than not: the United Kingdom will, by automatic operation of law, cease to be a member of the European Union on 29 March 2019.
This is regardless of there being a deal or not.
The departure date could be later (or even earlier) but only by agreement and there is not a plausible prospect of such a change.
Those who want Article 50 notification revoked are probably correct in saying that if UK sought to revoke the notification (in good faith rather than as a negotiating ploy so as to re-set the clock) then it would probably be accepted.
But such a prospect is not obvious as of today. It is not wishful thinking to say the notification can be revoked as a matter of law; but I fear it is wishful thinking to believe that it will be.
Little else is more likely than not.
The UK may not even have the necessary legislation in place in time.
The UK and EU may not have an exit deal in time.
The issue of the Irish border does not have any obvious solution.
The UK does not have a settled view on what trade relationship it will have with the EU after Brexit, though it is plain that a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement is the most likely outcome, regardless of what the UK says it wants.
The causes of all this uncertainty and lack of direction have been rehearsed many times.
But this does not make what will happen any the more obvious.
What will happen on, and after, the day of departure is still anyone’s guess.
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