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BREXIT: EU Agrees Another Article 50 Extension

, 29/10/2019

On 28 October 2019, the EU agreed a new ‘flextension’ of the Article 50 period: until 31 January 2020, with the option of the UK leaving earlier if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified in time.

The government and some opposition parties are now expected to try to call a general election, which could lead to a new government with a different Brexit policy.

There are still several possible outcomes:

There could be a no-deal Brexit on 1 February 2019 if the deal has not been ratified and no further extension request is granted; or
The UK and EU parliaments could ratify the Withdrawal Agreement by 31 January 2020 (Brexit would then take place on the first day of the month after ratification is completed); or
A UK government could request another extension beyond 31 January 2020 (which may be agreed by the EU); or
A UK government could unilaterally revoke Article 50, possibly following a second referendum, effectively canceling Brexit.


On 17 Oct 2019, the Government of the United Kingdom and the EU Council agreed a modified Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. However, on 19 Oct 2019, the UK Parliament voted to force the UK Government to request another extension of the Article 50 period.

On 22 Oct 2019, parliament voted to take forward the government's Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which must be approved before the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified in the UK, but voted against the government's fast-track timetable for scrutinizing the bill.

This leaves the bill in limbo and makes it difficult for the Withdrawal Agreement to be ratified by the previous Article 50 deadline of 31 October 2019.

What You Can Do Now

Ensure all UK employees residing in an EU member state, and EU citizens resident in the UK, and their family members, have submitted registration applications (where applicable) by Brexit day;
Affected employees should gather documents in support of possible future immigration applications;
Be prepared for longer, more complex immigration application requirements in any post-Brexit scenario and, if possible, bring forward any planned assignments between the UK and the EU.