19 September 2018
Brexit is exciting to a follower of politics: every day it seems there is something new, and one can often swing from thinking there will be a deal or no deal, or even from thinking there will be Brexit or no Brexit.
Brexit is a news event well suited to social media and rolling news.
But from a “law and policy” perspective, following the ball rather than the political players, there is less excitement, more a sense of inevitability.
The Article 50 notification was made on 29 March 2017 and so the UK will leave the EU by automatic operation of law on 29 March 2019, unless something exceptional and currently not in view happens.
The EU27 has in turn put forward a withdrawal agreement which provides them with comfort. This will probably be agreed before March. This agreement provides for a transition period which is, in reality, a stand-still period. There are still aspects to be agreed but it is heading towards final form and approval.
Over at the FT today I have set out why the current Salzburg summit may not be that important in respect of Brexit: just another minor step, and one which may soon be forgotten.
Of course: this may be wrong and that politics may erupt spectacularly in such a way so as to mean Brexit will not happen, or will be delayed, or whatever.
But unless that happens in the decreasing time available, all there is to see is the grim rolling of the conveyor belt taking the UK out of the EU, despite the noise and fury of day-to-day and minute-to-minute politics.
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