April 10, 2019: The EU granted the UK a temporary, flexible extension in connection with Brexit – until October 31, 2019. This time window should allow the UK to accomplish and orderly Brexit by ratifying the Brexit Deal that the UK and EU worked up together. The Flextension will end immediately if the deal is ratified before the October 31 deadline. There is still a chance for the hard Brexit, however, since so far the Brexit Deal document only received rejections at the UK Parliament.
Because of the possibility of hard Brexit, the UK will continue to prepare for this possibility and will continue to attempt to enter into post-Brexit trade agreements with various countries. During the Flextension, the UK will continue its membership and benefits in the EU and will continue to participate in the EU Single Market. The current free trade agreements in place with the EU will also continue to UK’s benefit. This also means that UK will be participating in next month’s EU elections. Given the uncertainty of a hard Brexit vs. the orderly version, business should continue to monitor global trade and political developments in the UK to stay abreast of unwelcome contingencies.