Brexit Deal Paused as EU Considers Deadline Extension

Illustration of British and EU flags symbolizing Brexit
Photo by Pixabay

Further progress on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has been put on pause while the European Union (EU) considers the UK’s request to extend the Brexit deadline, which is currently set for October 31. If the extension is granted, it could mean another general election in store for the UK

CNN reports that Johnson won a vote in the UK Parliament regarding the Brexit deal on Tuesday; however, minutes later, Parliament voted to reject the three-day timetable he had laid out to push the legislation through the House of Commons. Johnson then said he would “pause” the process while the UK waits to see whether the EU will grant the deadline extension. 

According to CNBC, on Saturday Johnson had requested an extension until the end of January 2020 to leave the EU. It is unclear as to whether the EU will grant the request, as officials have said that another extension would prolong uncertainty for people and businesses in the UK and EU. Additionally, British media reports indicate that, should the EU grant the request for an extension, Johnson’s administration could push for a general election, potentially on December 5 or 12. 

Uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process has had a significant impact on the travel sector, as it was one of the factors blamed for the recent collapse of iconic UK travel brand Thomas Cook. That company filed for insolvency, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers and prompting the UK’s largest repatriation effort since World War II. Following Thomas Cook's collapse, all of the company’s UK storefronts were acquired by independent UK travel agency Hays Travel

The process has also had an impact on the value of the pound, which also effects travel – a weak pound makes vacations to the UK relatively cheaper and outbound travel from the UK more expensive, while a strong pound has the opposite effect. According to the latest analysis from Pound Sterling Live, analysts are predicting that the currency could be held down in the event that the deadline is delayed again. 

In terms of air travel, both the United States and the European Union have deals in place to allow flights to and from the UK to continue, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

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