The terms of the third Brexit extension explained

Research output: Other contribution


The terms of this third Brexit extension are very similar to those of the previous two. It’s a so-called “flextension”, meaning that there is an ultimate deadline of January 31, but the UK can leave before that date if the current withdrawal agreement is ratified earlier.
In Brexit terms, the immediate political future looks more uncertain now that an election will take place in December before the final extension deadline. As May’s gamble to call an early election showed, a change in the composition of parliament is not the panacea to ratify a withdrawal agreement.

It is not far-fetched to argue that this may not be the last extension the UK government has to request. Despite the obvious frustration, Brussels will most likely agree to another if asked. After all, flexibility is the EU’s most effective tool as it aims to achieve its main Brexit goal – avoiding a damaging no-deal British departure.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Conversation Trust (UK) Limited
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • Brexit, article 50, extension, political crisis in the UK


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