Brexit: A New Deal?‎
October 3, 2019

Despite Parliament’s September prorogation being declared null and void by the UK Supreme ‎Court on 24 September, not much has happened in Parliament to move Brexit any closer to a ‎conclusion.  Parliament will be prorogued again at the close of Tuesday, 8 October with a ‎Queen’s Speech still planned for Monday, 14 October (at which the Government’s parliamentary ‎agenda will be set out).  How any Government will pass legislation with nowhere near a bare ‎majority (even with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party) is another question.  In our ‎view, and in light of the current mood in parliament, this is unlikely if not impossible.‎

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in ‎Manchester yesterday (see here for the speech in full), to ‎inspire his base and to formally announce a new proposal to the EU27 to replace the Northern ‎Ireland backstop, which previously derailed Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement.  This ‎new proposal has been presented as a ‘take it or leave it’ deal to the EU27 and early indications ‎are that they will leave it.  Even if it is agreed, the Parliamentary arithmetic does not look ‎promising to get a revised deal passed.‎

Boris Johnson’s letter to the European Commission setting out his proposal can be found here and the Government’s explanatory notes can be found here.  We are told that there is a more detailed proposal that has ‎been submitted to the EU27, but this has not yet been made public.‎

The European Council summit will be held in just over two weeks’ time on 17 and 18 October ‎and expectations remain low as to whether there will be any constructive Brexit developments.  ‎If no agreement is reached, Prime Minister Johnson has been instructed by Parliament to request ‎a further delay until the end of January 2020.  However, Johnson insists that he will not make ‎any such request so we expect more legal and political drama to be on the immediate horizon.‎

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