Brexit – what does “hard Brexit” actually mean?

Background

The UK triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union on 29 March 2017.

As set out under that treaty, the UK has two years to negotiate a Withdrawal Agreement and framework for a future relationship with the EU before the point of the UK’s exit from the EU at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019.

The EU and the UK have agreed a draft of this withdrawal agreement, but Theresa May faces big problems getting approval from the House of Commons for it.

Hard Brexit

A no deal scenario is one where the UK leaves the EU and becomes a third country at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement and framework for a future relationship in place between the UK and the EU.

In a no deal scenario there would therefore be no agreement to apply any of the elements of the Withdrawal Agreement described above. As such there will be no transition period and the UK will crash out of the EU at 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019, with all current trading and regulatory links with the EU ending immediately as it departs. This could be chaotic and carry a considerable risk for for the UK  and EU member states.

Contact us if you would like to discuss what Brexit scenarios might impact you.


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