Euro failed to capitalise on the Brexit vote last night, as pound stayed steady on hopes of an extension to Article 50. It seems likely that asking for an extension will pass through, but how long this will still be up in the air. The next big deadline is 21st March – the EU summit – and, if MPs back the Prime Minister’s deal by then, then it will only be short. On the other hand, without a deal, the delay could take the UK into participating in elections for the European Parliament.
However, while former is looking extremely difficult, the latter is no less difficult. A European Commission spokesperson stated yesterday that ‘”There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal – you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the Prime Minister and the EU is ready to sign it.”
Michel Barnier Tweeted on Tuesday evening that “The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the UK. Our “no-deal” preparations are more important than ever. There are some differences of opinion within the EU on how to proceed, as Germany takes a more conciliatory tone than France, but, largely, the message is clear: the ball is now in the UK’s court, firmly, and there isn’t expected to be any transition period during a no-deal Brexit.
The UK government has announced that it will not introduce checks or controls on the EU border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and that most imports into the UK will not be subject to a tariff. In fact, worldwide, it will be a reduction of tariffs – from on 20% of goods to 13% of goods – but would see an introduction of tariffs for 12% of EU goods. Notably, car parts from the EU will be tariff-free, which is a positive sign for many countries.