The Guardian has reported that the EU is preparing to propose a lengthy extension of Article 50 to avoid a no-deal Brexit. This comes as Theresa May struggles to find a cross party consensus in the House of Commons that continues less than five weeks away from Brexit day.
This is undoubtedly in reaction to the ongoing pressure that May faces: a large portion of the House of Commons and some of the ministerial cabinet are pushing for May to take a no-deal Brexit off of the negotiating table. This is further exacerbated by the amendment due to be tabled this week by Yvette Cooper and Oliver Letwin, which will force May to seek an extension of Article 50 if she does not have a deal ratified in Parliament by March 13th.
The EU apparently prefers an extension period of 21 months, as it provides more certainty over the UKs short term relationship over the EU. The EU fear that a short-term extension of three months will merely result in repeated extension requests and continued uncertainty.
This news is likely to provide a boost to the British Pound, which has become increasingly turbulent in the last few months. It has been provided with a boost in the last week as a no-deal Brexit seems to have become increasingly unlikely, but will likely surge even more upon the opening of business.
Recent Brexit Update
It has been quite a turbulent seven days in British Politics. Twelve MPs have resigned from the Conservative and Labour parties, with eleven of them becoming part of the independent group – a pro-EU, centrist organisation. They have already had their share of controversy, with one of the founding members, Angela Smith, almost immediately referring to ethnic minorities as people with a ‘funny tinge.’
Theresa May has also delayed the meaningful vote by two weeks, now promising to deliver it by the 13th of March. The decision to delay it to less than three weeks before Brexit day has provoked backlash, as May faces accusations that she is merely running down the clock to force parliament to accept her withdrawal agreement – backstop and all.
Jeremy Corbyn has also shifted Labour policy towards a people’s vote, which senior members of the labour party are said to have been pushing for. John Mcdonnell, the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has confirmed that in the event of a second referendum he will campaign to remain in the EU.
The Department of International trade is expected to publish a list of import taxes this week that will apply in the event of a no-deal Brexit. There were previously reports that the UK were considering a zero tariff regime, but Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, recently ruled this out. These tariffs will see the prices of goods increase, as the cost of the extra tax will undoubtedly be passed onto the consumer.