Brexit update: where we are now?

Susie Walker

Susie Walker

Partner and Head of Tax and Brexit Team

At the time of writing this update we await news of what happened at this morning’s Cabinet meeting. We understand that Mrs May could have shared her intended departure date in hope of gaining Ministerial support to finally back her Brexit deal. In Parliament, various amendments are currently being put forward by cross party MPs, the Speaker will decide which ones to put to debate and voting in Parliament will commence at 10pm tonight.

We always guessed that the last week of the UK’s intended Brexit date of 29th March 2019 would be full of last minute hitches, but to have got to the Monday before B-date and for all aspects to still be up in the air means that it couldn’t be any worse for businesses who eagerly await certainty.  Briefly, here’s what we now know:

  • 29 March 2019 as Brexit Day is now extended to 22 May 2019 if MPs approve this week the withdrawal deal Mrs May has currently negotiated with the EU.
  • If there is no such approval, the EU has backed a shorter delay until 12 April 2019, by which time the deal needs to get done or for the UK to “indicate a way forward”.  12 April is also significant as it’s the date by which the UK has to indicate whether it will stand candidates in the 2019 European Parliament elections.
  • In summary, the earliest the UK could now leave the EU with no deal is 12 April 2019. With a deal, the earliest departure date is 22 May 2019.

It’s a critical week for Brexit and we’ll keep you updated via our website as matters progress. Meanwhile, our recommendation is to continue to plan for a no deal exit.  HMRC continue to make provisions to ease the pain of a no deal and regular announcements are coming out, for example, further relaxations were announced last week such as:

  • Importers will be allowed to delay submission of their first supplementary customs declarations and payment of import duties after the UK leaves the EU until 4 October 2019. Transitional simplified customs procedures will now be available at all UK ports, rather than only at the main roll-on-roll-off locations. These relaxations complement the announcement in February of a six-month transitional period for submission of pre-arrival entry import declarations.

To view all HMRC announcements to date on a no deal scenario visit HMRC's website.