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Squire Patton Boggs Brexit Update

What's going on?

The first week of parliamentary scrutiny for Boris Johnson’s government has certainly lived up to Harold Wilson’s famous aphorism. Members of Parliament (MPs) returned from their summer break to the news that the Prime Minister intended to close down (prorogue) Parliament after one week, until 14 October. This spurred those opposed to a no-deal Brexit into action, with the result that: Government’s working majority went from +1 to -45, caused by a few resignations of the party Whip and the expulsion of 21 senior MPs for voting against the government Parliament passed a law forcing the Prime Minister to seek an extension to the Article 50 deadline of 31 October, unless he has secured a deal and had it approved by Parliament by 19 October Government lost all six substantive votes during the week Government twice failed to secure a decision for an early (mid-October) election Parliament required the government to publish its analysis of the impact of a no-deal Brexit (the government is likely to resist this) and some other internal documents

What Happens Next?

The Prime Minister promised during the leadership election that he would ensure that the UK left the EU on 31 October, come what may. Unless the government can find a way to circumvent the law Parliament has now passed, his only way to fulfil this promise is to secure a deal and get Parliament to approve it.

What Should you Plan for?

The risk of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October has been greatly reduced, but not disappeared. The risk of no-deal at some point in the future remains.

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