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Baker Botts Lawyer Provides Comments on Latest Developments in Brexit Crisis


BRUSSELS, March 20, 2019–Baker Botts Brussels based Partner Matthew Levitt provided the following comments related to today’s developments in London and Brussels related to the ongoing BREXIT crisis. 

“Today, the UK Government has formally requested a 3 month extension to Brexit – from 29 March to 30 June 2019. 

This comes following the Government’s repeated failure to have the House of Commons endorse the ‘deal’ comprising the withdrawal agreement (which would create a standstill period from 29 March to December 2020) and a political declaration on the UK’s future relationship with the EU; and the House’s refusal to allow the UK to Brexit without a deal. 

If the extension request is accepted by the EU, Brexit would take place on 30 June, and the 19 month transition period would start on that date. "

“But many questions and uncertainties remain:

  • First, the extension request needs to be accepted by all 27 remaining EU member states – and there are early indications that some might oppose an extension beyond the date set for European Parliament elections on 23 May.
  • Secondly, what will an extension achieve: will it make it any more likely that the House of Commons will endorse the deal that it has twice already rejected?
  • Third, will the House accept the extension?
  • Fourth, will a further, longer extension be required, which may only be accepted by the EU if justified by a substantial rewrite of the deal, a general election or a second referendum?"

“For these reasons, departure on 29 March without a deal remains a possibility – with all of the calamitous consequences that would bring for trade and the economy.  But so do a much longer delay and, indeed, a complete rethink by the UK on what Brexit involves and whether it should happen at all.”

To schedule an interview with Matthew Levitt please contact Adam Leviton [email protected]


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