Key dates to watch as the UK heads for EU Elections - CILT(UK)
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Following the negotiations in Brussels, the Border Delivery Group has written to CILT to confirm the latest position.

At the European Council meeting on 10th April, the Prime Minister agreed that:

  • Article 50 will be extended until the end of October at the latest;
  • the extension will only be as long as necessary – if the Prime Minister secures a majority on her deal before the 31st October, we will leave on an earlier date;
  • during the course of the extension, the UK will continue to hold full membership rights as well as its obligations, and the UK will participate in the European elections if we do not leave the EU by 1st June;
  • the agreement means that the UK will not be leaving the EU with or without a deal on Friday 12th April.

As a result, departments will stand down all No Deal work focussed on 12th April. This does not remove the possibility of a No Deal exit at a later point, and Government will want to work closely with stakeholders as it re-plans activity on that basis. 

The Prime Minister still intends to push her deal and was having discussions with the Labour Party. If that succeeds UK will trigger Article 50 as soon as possible and at least by 22nd May to avoid having to take part in the EU elections.

Although a no deal scenario is unlikely it could still be triggered by the EU if UK does not agree by the new EU deadline of 31st October nor fulfil its EU Parliamentary election responsibilities in which case No Deal Day One will be 1st June.

The message from CILT remains clear, we advise our members to stay vigilant and prepare for all eventualities. Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive, CILT(UK), says: “Our advice for several months to members has been to hope for the best and pan for the worst. From a business perspective there is a requirement to plan across the scenarios that continue to consume time, resource and finances.”


Brexit has been delayed again, resetting the agenda and shuffling the timeline for the UK’s departure once more. The House of Commons is in recess until April 23 as ministers break for Easter. Meanwhile, the Government is continuing cross-party talks with Labour as they try to resolve the Brexit deadlock. So what could happen next? Below is a timeline as things stand.

Commons returns from recess

Deadline for political parties to apply for running in the EU election

Local elections

Northern Ireland and parts of England will head to the polls for local elections.

MAY 23
EU elections
The UK will take part in the European Parliament elections on May 23rd, unless the deal is passed before that date. What seems likely is the Government notifies the EU of intentions to participate in the MEP elections, and then the Prime Minister will try push her Brexit deal through Parliament before May 22nd and call the elections off at the last minute.

Brexit day?
If the UK does not take part in the EU elections in May, it will leave the EU on June 1st with or without a deal. The date is relevant as the new EU Parliament is sworn in on June 2nd, and if the UK isn’t filling seats it should be out before then. So if Mrs May manages to get the deal through the Commons in May, Britain would leave the EU with a deal on June 1st.

JUNE 20 - 21
EU summit
Leaders have pledged to take stock of Brexit progress at their June meeting, but are already playing down the importance of the review amid the constant can-kicking of Brexit and political finger-pointing.

OCTOBER 17 - 18
EU summit
This is the last scheduled EU summit before the UK’s departure day, and is likely to be Brexit-centric.

Brexit day?
If the UK takes part in EU elections, this will become the new Brexit day. EU leaders insist that, by this point, the UK must choose whether to ratify the exit treaty, opt for a no-deal Brexit, or cancel its departure. The deadline is not a random one - as French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out, the end of October is the beginning of a new five-year political cycle in Brussels, as a new European Commission takes office.


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