Client Alerts

BREXIT: Parliament Rejects Withdrawal Agreement


The following alert is directed to organizations with a presence in the UK or who anticipate the need to place talent at a UK worksite.

Seyfarth Shaw’s Global Mobility Practice hosts attorneys licensed to practice in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The group has the capability to assist clients with obtaining work and residence visas for over 70 jurisdictions around the world.  If we can assist you in placing talent, please call your Seyfarth attorney. We will be happy to help you.

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 12th, the UK Parliament rejected the revised Withdrawal Agreement. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. A no-deal exit is the default position, unless an extension is agreed upon or an amended agreement can be reached. Parliament will vote on two critical questions this week, which should clarify the terms and timing of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Withdrawal Agreement Defeated

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, presented the revised Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament on Tuesday, March 12th. The amended agreement contained further assurances in relation to the back-stop arrangement regarding the border and Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, the changes were insufficient to satisfy Parliament, which rejected the Withdrawal Agreement by 391 to 242 votes.

Parliament Votes: No-Deal or Extension

Following defeat of the Withdrawal Agreement, Parliament will today vote to decide whether the UK should proceed with exiting the EU with no-deal in place. As previously advised, the government confirmed that the proposed EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented in a no-deal scenario. However, the cut-off date for EU nationals to enter the UK in order to qualify under those provisions will be March 29, 2019. 

If the motion to exit with no-deal is rejected today, which is widely expected, then Parliament will vote again on Thursday March 14th to decide whether to delay Brexit day beyond March 29th. The other 27 EU countries will need to agree to that extension when they meet on March 21st. In the unlikely event that the EU rejects an extension request, the withdrawal process moves ahead in a no-deal scenario with the UK exiting the EU on March 29th.

If an extension is agreed, then the UK will remain a full member of the EU during that extended period of time, which is expected to last approximately three months until June 2019. EU nationals in the UK, and British nationals in the EU, will retain full rights of free movement during that time.

We will continue to monitor and report on developments in relation to Brexit as events unfold.