Brexit delay in prospect following MP’s vote
Last night (14/3/19), MPs voted by 413 to 202 for the Prime Minister to ask the EU for a delay to the Brexit deadline. The vote means that the UK will probably not leave the EU on 29th March.
The PM said that Brexit could now be delayed by three months, even if MPs back her deal in a vote next week. However, she also confirmed that if they reject her deal again, she will seek a longer extension.
Martin Morgan of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) commented: “This latest series of votes in parliament mean little in a practical sense as businesses continue to face great uncertainty because the legal levers to take the UK out of the EU on 29th March remain in place.”
Norman Bagley of AIMS added: “It’s a keeping options open exercise, but most interesting was rejection of a second referendum vote, so listening to their constituents perhaps? Way to go yet for any definitive outcome”.
Ian Stevenson of the Livestock & Meat Commission Northern Ireland (LMC) commented, “The vote in Parliament last night for the government to request an extension to article 50 in the event that a withdrawal agreement is not in place by 29th March provides a helpful buffer against a train wreck no deal Brexit.
“The beef and sheep meat industry still craves clarity and certainty going forward with regard to an agreement on the future UK and EU relationships, which is so essential to planning supply chain operations and investment decisions.”
Speaking yesterday FDF Chief Executive Officer Ian Wright said: “Tonight the House of Commons has begun to indicate its preferred way forward to break the Brexit logjam. Clarity on that has been long awaited and is welcome.
“However, as the focus moves away from a 29th March 2019 exit date towards a later date, we must not overlook that 29th March is still the date in the Withdrawal Act.
“It is critical that MPs now follow-through on their intentions with actions. The government must swiftly agree the length of delay with the EU and table a statutory instrument to change that date. Only then can the diversion of time, effort and money towards no-deal planning be halted.”
The PM plans to go to an EU summit next Thursday, where she will ask for a ‘one-off’ extension to the Brexit leaving date.