Brexit Re-Set

Here we are on Brexit day, and the UK is still a member of the European Union. Again. Two deadlines (March 2019 and October 2019) have now elapsed without the UK leaving the European Union.

After much posturing and rhetoric that redefined the limits of passive aggressiveness in politics, policymakers in Europe and the UK in the last week agreed an extension to the Brexit break until the end of January 2020. Technically, the extension only provides more time for the UK Parliament to implement legislation essential for an orderly exit including, but not limited to, the Withdrawal Agreement.

Besides the extension, not much has changed. The Withdrawal Agreement (even with PM Johnson's edits at the margins) still cannot pass the UK Parliament. The EU still insists that the Withdrawal Agreement is the only deal on offer. The adjustments made by PM Johnson regarding the Irish border issues seem only to have eroded support for the Withdrawal Agreement from junior coalition partners.

Like MP May before him, PM Johnson has called an election with the clear hope that an election will deliver to him a stronger mandate to move forward with Brexit. He and his team will have to be much savvier campaigners in order to avoid the fate that a similar gamble delivered to Mrs. May. The election is as close as the UK is going to come to a second referendum on the Brexit question.

And so we have re-set the Brexit Countdown Clock on our website page ( Yes, we know that the technical extension goes through January 31, 2020. But the election will deliver a decisive mandate to the next Prime Minister about how to handle the Brexit quagmire. The election outcome will re-set the Brexit political debate in the UK.

So it is only right and appropriate that on the second missed Brexit deadline of the year that we re-set our Brexit countdown clock to the next inflection point: the election. In the 40 days until the election, take the time to get caught up on how we got to this stage.

* Consider THIS POST (an 8-minute read) explaining the December 2011 origins of Brexit.

* Focus on THIS POST (a 2-minute read) highlighting the variety of policies put into place by both EU and UK policymakers during the February 2019 run-up to the first Brexit deadline. Remember -- all these policies remain in place and will be triggered automatically whenever Brexit occurs.

* Remember that the hard lines laid out by policymakers in September 2019 (analyzed in THIS POST, a 4-minute read) remain in play today.

Stay tuned. The only thing that is certain is that the journey along the Brexit policy trajectory will never be dull.