What Happens Next in Brexit? Two Cliff-Edges and a Summit
Prime Minister Theresa May is still fighting to get her Brexit deal through Parliament with just days to go until the U.K. is meant to leave the European Union. If she gets through one cliff-edge on March 29 as expected, another looms three months later.
Here are the key dates:
March 21-22: EU summit. Leaders are expected to offer the U.K. an extension to EU membership. But the delay won’t be finalized at the summit, giving May the chance to put her deal to one more vote -- as long as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow allows it.
March 25: May has promised Parliament time on this day to debate Brexit options.
March 25-29: At some point this week May could put her deal back to Parliament -- the choice she will probably offer is a long extension or her deal. Will it be enough to bring the Brexiteers on side? If the deal fails, the EU would then finalize the delay.
March 29: Brexit day. But as long as no-deal doesn’t happen by accident, the most likely outcome is that nothing changes.
April 12: U.K. must announce European Parliament elections, and legislation must be in place by then. If they’re not called, and there’s no sign of progress toward a deal, then another cliff-edge comes into view. Markets will get jumpy.
April 18: EU Parliament dissolved -- and can no longer ratify the Brexit deal before July 2.
May 23-26: European Parliament elections.
July 1: If the U.K. hasn’t held Parliamentary elections, and doesn’t have a deal, then the U.K. will be ejected from the bloc into legal limbo. (According to a draft plan.)
July 2: European Parliament’s first session of new term begins.
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