Brexit date 2019 – when will Britain leave the EU and could it be delayed?

The public has been left wondering whether it will really happen as planned, and we take a look at the possible outcomes, below.

When does Britain leave the EU?

Britain's departure deadline is 11pm on Friday, March 29, 2019.

In between this date and December 31, 2020, there is expected to be some form of transition period.

The grace period will allow businesses and others to prepare for the day the new post-Brexit rules between the UK and EU begin.

Free movement will continue throughout the transition period.

The UK will be able to make its own trade deals, however, they will not come into force until January 21, 2021.

Future relations between the UK and EU have been subject to extensive negotiations, but it is not yet known how things will work in the long term.

Both sides hope they can agree within six months about issues such as trade, travel and security.

The deal could then be given the go ahead in time for the day the UK leaves.

Could the departure date be delayed?

Brexit might have to be delayed even if MPs approve Theresa May’s deal, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said tonight.

She became the first Cabinet minister to publicly raise the prospect of requesting an extension of Article 50 to give the Government time to pass the necessary laws.

The leading Brexiteer Cabinet minister told BBC’s Newsnight that she was confident the EU would agree to giving the UK a “couple of extra weeks” beyond March 29.

Ms Leadsom added: "I think we would want to think carefully about it.
"But, as things stand I do feel that we can get, with the support of both Houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, with good will and a determination, we can still get the legislation through in time."

The comments are hugely significant given Mrs Leadsom is in charge of timetabling the Government’s legislation.

Just months before the UK was due to extract itself from the EU, Theresa May finally agreed on a departure deal with the EU – only to realise most of Parliament wouldn't back it.

So at the eleventh hour she pulled a Commons vote asking MPs to agree on the Brexit plan – a move that backfired when it triggered a vote of no confidence in her leadership the very next day – the first in nearly 40 years.

May narrowly survived the vote on December 12, 2018, and the vote was postponed to January 15, which May lost by historic margins, 432 to 202.

This was swiftly followed by a vote of no confidence in her government that was tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which May to won by 19 votes on January 16.

If EU leaders and Parliament reach no agreement in the next three months, then Britain is set to crash out of the EU with no formal arrangements for the future relationship.

A No Deal Brexit would not see EU citizens lose their residency as the government has said they would  need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by December 31, 2020.

There is also uncertainty over what would happen at the 310 mile border between Northern Ireland and the Republic as Eurocrats in Brussels say it would become a hard border.

On January 29, the UK parliament backed an amendment instructing May to demand that Brussels replace the backstop — which aims to avoid customs checks on the island of Ireland after Brexit – with "alternative arrangements".

Customs checks on cross-Channel freight could also cause havoc at ports, hitting food supplies and other goods such a motor parts.

This is a scenario that everyone May wants to avoid.

Civil service chief executive John Manzoni said Whitehall would double the number of staff working on Brexit if talks collapse and Britain ‘crashes out’ of the EU on March 29.

There have been calls for May to take the option of a No Deal Brexit off the table and rebels MPs are on course to delay Brexit by as much as nine months as support grows for a wrecking motion in the Commons.

Yesterday reports swirled around Westminster that officials were considering another snap vote in June – after Mrs May seals off a Brexit deal.

But this morning a No 10 spokesperson insisted that reports of an election in June were "categorically untrue".

Today Mr Johnson said any plans for an election were "lunacy" and the Tories would struggle to scramble together a manifesto.

He wrote in the Telegraph: "Perhaps there is no plan for an election, perhaps it is just a scare tactic designed to get MPs to vote for the PM's appalling deal.

"But if someone in Tory HQ genuinely thinks it would be a good idea they should be despatched on secondment to Venezuela or Zimbabwe or somewhere they can do less damage."

Labour MP David Lammy agreed with his sentiment.

He said:  This story is designed to scare the s**t out of MP colleagues in Leave seats in the hope they will vote for May's deal.

"Let’s hope they can see through it."

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