On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) submitted notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
Following a request by Prime Minister Theresa May, the European Council agreed on 21 March 2019 to extend the UK’s departure date to 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated between the European Commission and the UK, is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019 at the latest. If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons by then, the European Council has agreed to an extension until 12 April 2019. In that scenario, the UK would be expected to indicate a way forward before this date.
The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected for a third time by the House of Commons of March 29. Moreover, on April 1, the House of Commons once again failed to coalesce behind any alternative to Theresa May’s rejected Brexit deal. Indeed, three options – a common market, a customs union and a second referendum – were all narrowly rejected in the process of indicative votes.
This means that a “no-deal” Brexit appears now more and more likely as soon as April 12.
In a “no-deal” scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitionary arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from April 13 2019 (« the withdrawal date”). There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement, and the UK will then become a third country.
In the following developments, we will analyse the main consequences of this potential no-deal scenario for EU trade marks.