I am curious as to why there doesn't seem to be a significant period of time for people to prepare for Brexit.

That's to say, if there are to be significant changes in the law, shouldn't there be at least a few weeks, or months, from the time of the final decision being made as to what is happening to the date at which the law changes, so that people can make preparations, and also not be forced into planning for different unknown contingencies which may never come to pass. Isn't that common-sense?

Did the time delay get lost somewhere in the process? What happened?

  • Are you talking about a specific deal? For example May's deal with the EU that hasn't passed parliament (yet)? – JJJ Apr 11 '19 at 21:27

TL;DR: Rampant incompetence on the part of British politicians.

What's been happening is a long series of political fumbles. The UK government has been slow in negotiating an agreement, having triggered a two-year countdown before getting its negotiating position straight. Once they'd come to an agreement, the House of Commons refused to back it, and the government then consumed weeks of time trying to get the agreement passed.

They have been unable to manage this, mostly because there doesn't seem to be a natural majority in the HoC for any course of action. Neither of the major political parties has leadership who can create a convincing compromise, or lead unwilling MPs to vote for something created by the other major party.

Overall, the HoC is doing quite a good job of representing the fact that the country is very much divided over the issue of Brexit. However, that isn't getting us any closer to a solution, although it is becoming clear that the ideas of the pro-Leave campaign for the referendum were not entirely based in practical reality.

  • 2
    John Dallman - I wouldn't say that the British Government were slow in negotiating. The Withdrawal Agreement took about 18 months to negotiate, which doesn't sound too onerous given the complexities of the deal. The lack of consultation with Parliament and the splits in both major parties over Brexit are more significant factors in my opinion. – pmarflee Apr 12 '19 at 7:57

Exit with deal

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020. The continued application of EU law during this period will give time to national administrations and businesses to prepare for the new relationship.


Exit with no deal

The Government passed the EU Withdrawal Act in 2018 to copy EU law into UK law after Brexit. However, the Government also needs to pass several more bills ahead of a no deal exit:

  • The Trade Bill, giving the Government powers to “roll over” existing EU trade deals and establish the Trade Remedies Authority.
  • The Agriculture Bill, to create a domestic agricultural regime.
  • The Fisheries Bill, to create a domestic fisheries regime.
  • The Immigration Bill, establishing the “settled status” regime for EU citizens living in the UK
  • The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill, to implement reciprocal healthcare agreements that the Government negotiates with other countries.
  • The Financial Services Bill, to give the Government powers to implement future
  • EU financial services regulations in the UK, in order to provide certainty for financial institutions.


See also

In short, laws have been prepared which can be enacted after a no deal exit. The intent of these laws is to provide as much continuity as possible.

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