As we flagged up in our post in December, there was a general expectation that the amended EU Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be passed by the UK Parliament without amendment.
Following completion of the formalities, the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement come into effect as of 11pm GMT today, 31 January 2020, following which the UK will no longer be a member of the European Union. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020 (the “Transition Period”). During the Transition Period, EU law will continue to be applicable within the UK and the UK will continue to be treated as a Member State until 31 December 2020.
We finally can start to make statements that are less equivocal following the Conservative Party’s success last night that has led to a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons, its biggest majority since 1987 and its highest share of the vote since 1979. The Labour Party’s experiment with a more socialist agenda appears to be shelved as it had its worse performance in an election since 1935.
We have been very quiet with our updates as the UK general election campaign runs its course. However, we cannot resist the opportunity to attempt to look into the future to see what the effects may be on Brexit and, as a consequence, Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
We could be on the verge of some meaningful change that would mean the UK finally starts to move forward again. On Tuesday, after a roller-coaster of a day when rumour followed rumour, the House of Commons finally voted for a general election to be held on Thursday, 12 December. First it was on, then it was off, then the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn decided to support a general election, then there were attempted amendments to the bill and, in the end, Prime Minister Boris Johnson got what he originally asked for on Monday.