This article was published prior to the publication of the post-Brexit agreement between the UK and EU which covers the relationship between the UK and EU following the end of the implementation period (commonly referred to as the “transition period”) created by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, and should be read in that context. For up-to-date commentary and information on our services, please see our Beyond Brexit page.
We are now in the second day of the four day hearing of the Supreme Court case on the Government appealing the Brexit process. It has today been announced that the UK will have to reach a Brexit deal with the EU by October 2018.
This statement has been announced by Michel Barnier, the EU's Chief Negotiator for Brexit, who was appointed to the post early October this year by European President, Jean-Claude Juncker. Mr Barnier has told reporters that "time will be short, it is clear the period for actual negotiations will be shorter than two years", and a taskforce of 30 people have been set up to make sure the EU would be prepared when Article 50 is launched.
Michel Barnier has also predicted that if Article 50 negotiations have been triggered by March 2017, then Britain, the European Parliament and other political bodies have five months to ratify the split. However, Mr Barnier has made it clear that he does not agree that Britain should "cherry pick" over its new relationship with the EU on aspects such as the single market, but he did propose that Britain should have a "transitional period" when it leaves the EU.
This will be a busy 18 months for all parties involved with Brexit. The agreement will need to be approved by the Council and European Parliament as well as the UK approving the final agreement before it is put into action.
Our dedicated Brexit Team will be writing regular updates as the Supreme Court case continues.