United Kingdom

Back 
Head of State

Prime Minister

Queen Elizabeth II

Boris Johnson (Conservative Party, since July 2019)

Population 65,110,000
Size 242,495 km (93,628 sq. miles)
MEPs 73 (Joined the EU in 1972)
Next legislative election 2022 (though likely to happen in 2019)
Presidency of the Council No Presidency
What Mr Johnson has said on Brexit The EU would negotiate a new deal with the UK because “they’ve got the Brexit MEPs they don’t particularly want; they want us out; they’ve got the incentive of the money . . . but you have the extra incentive of course that the UK will be ready to come out, as you know, on WTO terms.”

“So we are getting ready to come out on October the 31st. Come what may . . . Do or die. Come what may.”

“I think that MPs on both sides of the House also understand that they will face mortal retribution from the electorate unless we get on and do it.”

Brexit priorities The UK Government set out its objectives for the talks in a White Paper in February 2017, a month before Article 50 was triggered. Here former PM Theresa May announced that she aimed to withdraw the UK from the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, also known as a “hard Brexit”.

In the “Chequers agreement” published in July 2018 there is a proposal to establish a free trade area for goods, including agree-food, through a common rule-book. It also proposes to set up a facilitated customs arrangement where the UK would apply EU tariffs to goods going to the EU. This was the point where severe fractures in the governing Conservative Party started show, and Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned over the plans.

In November 2018, Theresa May’s government and the EU concluded the Withdrawal Agreement. It includes:

  • A transition period until 31 December 2020, which can be prolonged by one or two years once.
  • A financial settlement the UK will have to pay the EU. This is estimated to be around £39bn.
  • A guarantee that UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK will retain their residency and social security rights after Brexit.
  • A backstop ensuring that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains open. This backstop would kick in if no trade arrangements are agreed by the end of the transition period and would trigger “a single customs territory between the EU and the UK”.

The House of Commons rejected this Withdrawal Agreement three times in January – March 2019. Eurosceptic MPs felt the backstop would keep the UK too close to the EU, while others thought that it did not provide enough certainty over the future relationship.

As a result of this deadlock, Theresa May asked for an extension of the Brexit negotiations. The EU granted an extension of Article 50 until 31 October 2019. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the EU, with or without a deal, by this date.

As a result of Mr Johnson’s no deal Brexit approach, a number of MPs have resigned or left the party. This has resulted in the government losing its majority in the House of Commons. It is likely a general election will be held before the end of 2019.

Preparations for no deal scenario

The UK Government has released a series of technical notices which aim to prepare the specific industries with the changes in case of no deal. The technical notices also explain the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for the no deal outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

Sign up to receive analysis on policy developments across our specialist sectors








Contact us

For more information about how Whitehouse can help you, please contact:

Isabella Sharp
t: +44 (0)20 7793 2536
m: +44 (0)7813 307490
isabella.sharp@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk

Viviana Spaghetti
t: +44 (0)20 7463 0668
m: +44 (0)7583 051119
viviana.spaghetti@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:
Mayar Raouf

t: +44 (0)20 7463 0698
m: +44 (0)7502 327092
mayar.raouf@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk

For general enquiries, please contact:
info@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk
t: +44 (0)20 7463 0690

  • Google
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Team GB
  • Urology Trade Association
  • Holland & Barrett
  • ESSNA
  • The LIFT Council
  • Low Carbon

Sign up for the latest news

  • * Denotes required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.