Greetings, forex chaps! If you somehow missed it, the Brexit Bill got passed and Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon is calling for another Scottish referendum. And here are some of the things you may wanna know about ’em.
Brexit Bill Passed
Brexit Bill? What’s that?
For those who are just tuning in, Theresa May’s government needed an “Act of Parliament” before it can trigger Article 50 of the TEU, according to the U.K. Supreme Court’s ruling. And if you don’t know what Article 50 of the TEU is all about, you can check out my primer for it here. The short of it, though, is that Article 50 of the TEU is the key legislation that needs to be invoked in order to start the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union.
With that out of the way, the Brexit Bill, which you can see below, was the means through which Theresa May’s government can secure Parliamentary approval in order to trigger Article 50 of the TEU.
The Brexit Bill passed through the House of Commons without any problems. However, there was drama aplenty at the House of Lords, as peers introduced amendments meant to safeguard the rights of E.U. citizens and grant Parliament a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal.
Fortunately for Theresa May’s government, MPs at the House of Commons decided to scrap the amendment, and since the Lords (through a 274-118 vote) refused to fight against the Commons. All that’s need now is the Queen’s Royal Assent to turn the Brexit Bill into law. And according to Theresa May, she expects royal assent will be granted “in the coming days.”
When will Article 50 be triggered?
Both Theresa May and Brexit Secretary say that Article 50 will be invoked by the end of this month. However, there’s really no specific date. There were rumors that Theresa May would trigger Article 50 within this week. However, Theresa May has crushed those rumors and emphasized that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of this month. Word on the grapevine is that Theresa May is now expected to trigger Article 50 at or before March 27.
What happens next?
Below is a rough potential timeline:
- Article 50 is triggered by the end of March. No clear date when, but rumored to be at or before March 27. Also, two-year period for negotiations starts once Article 50 is invoked.
- Other E.U. members hold a Brexit summit in order to set guidelines for negotiations. Also no clear date, but there were early rumors that the summit would be from April 6 to April 7.
- Brexit negotiations start once guidelines are set.
- A Brexit deal is expected to be hammered out by October 2018, according to Michel Barnier, the E.U.’s Brexit negotiator.
- Assuming no delays, British and European Parliaments are expected ratify the Brexit deal between October 2018 and March 2019, as mandated by the provisions of Article 50 of the TEU.
- Actual Brexit by March 2019.
Another Scottish Referendum Brewing?
Scotland already had an independence referendum back in 2014. The Scots voted against independence, of course. But with an actual Brexit looming ever closer, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, announced on Monday (March 13) that since 62% of Scots voted against Brexit and since “The UK government has not moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement,” she would therefore ask the Scottish Parliament next Tuesday to request a Section 30 order from Westminster, which passes power from the U.K. government to the Scottish Parliament, so that she can call for another Scottish independence referendum. This naturally annoyed Theresa May, who quipped that “This is not a moment to play politics or create uncertainty.”
As to when we can expect another Scottish referendum (assuming there’s gonna be one), there’s no clear date yet. But according to rumors, Theresa May wouldn’t say yes to another Scottish referendum until after several months after an actual Brexit.
Sturgeon, for her part, said the following (emphasis mine):
“And the vote must take place within a timeframe to allow an informed choice to be made – when the terms of Brexit are clear but before the UK leaves the European Union, or shortly afterwards“
So, either before Brexit or “shortly afterwards.” In short, no clear date and not very soon.
There are also unconfirmed rumors that Sturgeon may instead opt to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) after Alfonso Dastis, the Spanish Foreign Minister, said that an independent Scotland “would have to queue, meet the requirements for entry” before becoming part of the E.U. Also, Anti-EU sentiment is on the rise in Scotland, according to ScotCen Social Research.
Although support for Scottish independence is also apparently at an all-time high.
Notwithstanding the possibility of another Scottish independence referendum, how do you think the pound will react to Article 50 getting triggered? Share your thoughts by voting in the poll below.