Using unofficial channels of communication, the British government is exploring ways for the very real possibility of extending Britain’s formal notice of withdrawal from the EU on March 29, 2019.
As per a report from the Daily Telegraph citing anonymous sources, British officials are discussing with their European peers for potentially extending Britain’s formal notice of exit from the European Union midst heightened concerns that the Brexit deal is unlikely to get approval by March 29.
As per that report, the Telegraph has cited three anonymous EU sources as saying British officials had been “putting out feelers” and “testing the waters” on an extension of Article 50.
When asked to comment on the report by the Telegraph, a spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said stated, “The PM has always said that we would be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, and we would not extend Article 50.”
The UK’s future lies in the balance as Brexit continues to remain under a cloud of uncertainty as British lawmakers with the country’s lawmakers expected to take a vote on the negotiated Brexit deal next week.
Companies across the board as well as investors are a worried lot. If Britain were to leave the EU without a deal, it would have a catastrophic impact on existing supply chains, and spook financial markets across the globe.
Britain’s historic Brexit referendum will shape its $2.8 trillion (2.2 trillion pounds) economy and have long term, far-reaching geo-economic and geo-political consequences for the United Kingdom. It will also decide London will continue to maintain its place as one of the top centers of finance globally.
In 2016, 52% of the UK’s citizens, which translates to 17.4 million voters had backed Brexit, which 16.1 million, or 48% wanted to remain with the EU.
On March 29, 2017, May had formally triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty thus ushering in a two-year period of negotiation on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU.
Last month, the EU’s Court of Justice ruled, the United Kingdom can revoke Article 50 unilaterally which means if Britain chooses to step back from the precipice, it can do so legally.