Brexit May Be Delayed Longer Than You Think

By : Jennifer Browne |


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For those of you worried Brexit would take effect soon after Britain voted to leave the European Union, there may be good news.

Britain could remain a member of the EU until late 2019, as ministers are reportedly in discussion over a delay in triggering Article 50, the formal process of leaving the European Union.

Theresa May, who was expected to trigger the two-year process of leaving the EU in January 2017, could push Brexit back because her new international trade and Brexit departments will not be ready, sources told The Sunday Times.

Elections in France and Germany could also delay Article 50 being triggered. A source told the newspaper: “You can’t negotiate when you don’t know who you’re negotiating with.”

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Another source, who has reportedly had discussions with two senior ministers, said:

Ministers are now thinking the trigger could be delayed to autumn 2017. They don’t have the infrastructure for the people they need to hire.

They say they don’t even know the right questions to ask when they finally begin bargaining with Europe.

May previously warned that she would not trigger Article 50 this year, despite many Leave voters expecting the process of leaving the EU to begin immediately after the referendum on June 23. She has also stated she would not formally start the process of leaving the EU until there was a coherent ‘UK approach’ to negotiations.

Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, has also advocated delaying the process until the autumn of 2017.

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But Peter Bone, the Conservative MP for Wellingborough who campaigned for Leave, told The Independent he believed May would not want to delay the process any longer.

He said:

I just think it’s speculation. I would have thought that was the last thing the Prime Minister would want because she’ll want Brexit done and dusted a long time before the next general election because she’ll want it to be her election. She won’t want it to be clouded by Brexit.

So what does it all mean? Basically – like Peter Bone said – it’s all just speculation right now. But if reports are right, we won’t see the effects of Brexit until 2019. That means, for all you Remain voters, you’ve got just over two years to move country or trigger another referendum.

This should be interesting.