This article originally published in December has been updated. Unless the British parliament approves a Brexit deal, or another extension to the UK’s EU membership is agreed, or the government decides to cancel Brexit – then by law the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without an agreement on October 31. Several of the contenders to replace Theresa May as prime minister, including the favourite Boris Johnson, say they are determined to take the UK out in the autumn, without a deal if necessary. Polling suggests many members of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party favour such an option. A “no-deal” exit would mean that legal arrangements covering many aspects of everyday life would abruptly cease to apply. It would also bring a significant change in the trading relationship between the UK and the EU. The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner, although its importance has been slightly declining. Official UK figures show that 44% of all UK exports went to the EU in 2017, while 53% of all UK imports came from the EU. As a bloc, EU countries sell more to the UK than vice-versa. The consequences of a “no-deal Brexit” – particularly on trade – have been… Read full this story
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