By David Meyer
March 22, 2019

Good morning. David Meyer here, filling in for Alan from Berlin.

Apologies for harping on about Brexit, but it’s just too momentous and horrific a saga to avoid right now, and British Prime Minister Theresa May is just providing too many lessons in bad leadership.

May’s humiliation continued at last night’s European summit. The good news is that the EU has granted the U.K. a two-week extension on the Brexit date, which is now shifted from March 29 to April 12 unless the British Parliament green-lights the negotiated Brexit deal, in which case it’s May 22. The bad news is that the prime minister had asked for an extension until the end of June, but was unable to convince the other EU countries’ leaders that she had the slightest grip on events.

According to both Politico and the Washington Post, May was unable to answer basic questions from her counterparts about what she would do if she fails next week to win parliamentary approval for the Brexit deal, what she was doing to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, or even why she wanted a three-month extension. The result was that they took control of the process. The Brexit timetable is now effectively out of May’s hands.

There’s still a possibility that a long extension could appear, if May’s deal fails a third time as expected and the U.K. heads for new elections or a second Brexit referendum. But the chances of a no-deal Brexit on April 12 are considerable—so I’ve put together a guide to explain what that would actually mean for British businesses. Spoiler: it ain’t pretty.

More news below.

David Meyer


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