08.10.2019

Is a third Brexit extension on the cards?

The UK Government must either reach a deal with the European Union, or gain Parliament's approval for a no-deal exit by October 19th.

Hard Brexit or third extension

An agreement must be reached by October 19th.

The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. However, with the risk of a no deal Brexit still a very real possibility, MPs from different UK parties voted through a law forcing the government to seek a third Brexit extension. In early September, the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Act 2019 became law.

This means that the Prime Minister will seek an extension to the Brexit withdrawal date if he is unable to agree a withdrawal agreement with the EU. Also known as the Benn Bill, the Bill requires the Government to either reach a deal with the European Union, or gain Parliament's approval for a no-deal exit by October 19.

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What will happen if there is no agreement?

If the government does not do either, the Prime Minister will have to send a letter to the president of the European Council to request an extension until 31 January 2020.

However any extension offered to the UK has to be agreed to by all members of the EU - so there's no guarantee the UK will be offered one. If the European Council agrees to an extension to the 31 January 2020, the Prime Minister must immediately accept that extension.

If the European Council proposes an extension to a different date, the Prime Minister must accept that extension within two days, unless the House of Commons rejects it.

Mr Johnson is still insisting that the UK will leave on 31 October 2019, but it remains unclear how the Prime Minister will fulfil this request.

How can businesses prepare for Brexit?

On a side note, in preparation for Brexit, business will have to apply for an EORI number. You need an EORI number to move goods into or out of the EU (including the UK).

An EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) is a unique ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU.

For further information, check out other stories on Brexit from the Taxback International blog.

Brexit Updates

The HMRC website has further details and instructions on how businesses should prepare for Brexit.

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