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More highlights in their up-to-the-minute brief can be found below:

EU Intelligence: Brexit

12 March 2019

Key Dates

  • 12 March           ‘Meaningful vote’ scheduled
  • 13 March            Possible ‘no deal’ vote
  • 14 March            Possible Article 50 extension vote
  • 29 March            Currently scheduled Brexit day
  • 2 May                  UK Local Elections
  • 23 – 26 May      European Parliament Elections
  • First week July  New European Parliament sworn in – affecting legal status of any Art. 50 extension

Summary

While yesterday’s update does not provide the time limit to the backstop that Brexiteers demanded, in our view the concessions granted by the UK are not insignificant.  Ireland’s view of unilateral declarations to EU treaties is that they are meaningful – indeed this is the very mechanism by which the Irish government persuaded Irish citizens to approve the Lisbon Treaty by referendum at the second time of asking.  Furthermore, a strengthened referral mechanism to an arbitration panel to rule on issues pertaining to the Irish border makes for uncomfortable reading in Dublin.  The last time an arbitration panel ruled on the Irish border was in 1925 and resulted in a disastrous outcome for Dublin.

The position of the DUP, which will rely to a large extent on the legal advice offered by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, could be decisive.  Should the DUP oppose the deal, as Sammy Wilson’s initial reaction suggests they might, the deal is all but certain to fail.  In this scenario, Theresa May has committed to offering a vote on no-deal and an Article 50 extension on 13 and 14 March respectively.

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