Brexit Bulletin, 29 October 2019

Oct 29, 2019

UK gets Brexit “flextension” - new deadline 31 January 2020

 The EU 27 have agreed to postpone the UK’s departure from the EU until 31 January 2020 – almost three months after the planned departure date of 31 October.  With a pre-Christmas general election on the horizon for the UK, read this week’s Brexit Bulletin for a timeline of the developments so far.


29 October 2019, UK on track for general election on 12 December

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured an early general election scheduled for 12 December 2019. With the revised Withdrawal Agreement Bill on the backburner for now, UK political parties are preparing for an unpredictable election ahead, just weeks before the new Brexit deadline of 31 January 2020.



28 October 2019, EU agrees to three-month Brexit “flextension”

The EU 27 member states have agreed to grant the UK a three-month extension to the upcoming Brexit deadline of 31 October 2019, making the new deadline 31 January 2020.

Dubbed as the “flextension”, the additional time allows the UK will be allowed to leave the EU earlier than the new deadline if they are able to ratify a withdrawal agreement before then.

In the meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempts at securing a parliamentary majority to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement Bill have been foiled, as MPs have voted against his plan for a general election in early December. The Prime Minister will make a fresh attempt to pass a short bill later today to secure a general election in December.



23 October 2019, MPs back Bill, reject accelerated timetable

UK MPs voted to approve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in principle on its second reading. However, they simultaneously rejected Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s proposal to push the bill through Parliament within an accelerated three-day timeframe.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed his support for EU Council President Donald Tusk’s proposal to grant the UK an extension to the Brexit process.



22 October 2019, Meaningful vote rejected; Withdrawal Agreement Bill published

The UK Parliament’s bid to hold a ‘meaningful vote’ was rejected by the Speaker of the House, John Bercow on Monday. A ‘meaningful vote’ means that the House of Commons’ vote on a government motion to approve the Withdrawal Agreement.  The UK government also published the full text of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill later that day.



19 October 2019, UK Prime Minister requests extension to Brexit deadline

The UK Prime Minister officially requested another Brexit extension from the EU until the end of January 2020. This is in line with the terms of the “Benn Act” passed last month to ensure that the UK government does not leave the EU without a deal. The EU is currently considering the extension, with the consent of all EU27 member states required to grant it. However, if the EU refuses to grant the UK a delay to Brexit, then the UK Parliament has until 31 October to pass a deal and the associated legislation.



19 October 2019, UK Parliament passes Letwin amendment

Upon reconvening, the UK House of Commons voted in favour of the Letwin amendment, which enabled the UK to withhold approval for the Brexit deal, until legislation to implement the deal has been passed by the government.



17 October 2019, New Brexit deal on the horizon

Following intensive negotiations, a Brexit deal was agreed upon last week between the UK government and the EU. Read a summary of the commercial elements of the deal.



Brexit preparedness resources

Guidance video: Single Administrative Document

Chartered Accountants Ireland has released a quick guidance video on how to fill out the Single Administrative Document, which will be a requirement for making customs declarations post-Brexit by both Irish/UK traders to trade with the UK/EU respectively. Visit our Customs page to watch the video.


Avail of Customs Transit Procedure

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys is urging businesses to make sure they are prepared well in advance to avail of the Customs Transit Procedure for moving goods through the UK land bridge post-Brexit. The Customs Transit Procedure removes the requirement for businesses who are transiting goods through a non-EU country to pay duties and complete customs declarations when they enter the country and again when they leave it to re-enter the EU.

Businesses will require two things in particular to avail of the Customs Transit Procedure:


  • A Revenue-authorised Comprehensive Guarantee, covering transit through third countries, which the UK will be post-Brexit.


  • To avail of the Transit element of that guarantee, a business must also have in place a financial guarantee from a bank, where the Department’s Credit Guarantee Scheme can be used by business to back their financial guarantee from a bank.


Read more on the procedure here.


Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 – CPD course

Chartered Accountants Ireland, in association with the Irish Exporters Association, has launched a brand new continuous professional development (CPD) course - Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This course provides participants with insights into how to manage their dealings with EU/International customs efficiently and explores areas such as goods classification, origin, valuation and transit. 

Interested parties can visit the CPD Brexit programmes page of our website to learn more and register for the upcoming course in Cork.


HMRC – Customs funding

The UK government have announced additional funding to support businesses with the costs of making customs declarations. Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support:

  • training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future
  • funding for IT improvement, which is available to small and medium sized employers who are currently involved in trade as an intermediary


Applications can be made online, with the grant being offered within 30 days of applying. 


Irish Government Brexit Supports

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have released several Brexit preparedness supports, including the Brexit preparedness checklist, the Brexit Loan Scheme and the Getting Business Brexit Ready guide. For the full range of supports for businesses, visit the Department’s website.

Read all our updates in our
Brexit web centre and our page dedicated to no-deal Brexit planning.