As we have reported previously, the result of the European Union referendum (Brexit) was announced on 24 June 2016 with a vote in favour of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

We have issued a series of Brexit updates since the date of the referendum. To access such prior alerts, please visit our Brexit page.

Definition of “exit day” changed again in UK law as new Brexit deadline of 31 January 2020 is agreed with the EU

On 30 October 2019, the UK government made the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1423) (the “Regulations”) to again postpone the date that the UK will leave the EU (the “Exit Day”) from 31 October 2019 to 31 January 2020. The Regulations have enacted a further change to the definition of Exit Day in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, following the previous extensions that we reported on 2 April 2019 and 16 April 2019.

The decision to postpone Brexit for a third time comes as Boris Johnson, who replaced Theresa May as the UK’s Prime Minister on 24 July 2019, was forced to request a further extension from the EU. Mr Johnson was compelled to make the extension request after the UK Parliament failed to approve his proposed timetable to adopt the latest Brexit deal that was approved by EU leaders on 17 October 2019 (the “Brexit Deal”).

Following the UK Parliament’s decision to not support the proposed timetable to pass the Brexit Deal, the UK Parliament voted in favour of calling a general election, which has been scheduled for 12 December 2019.

After the general election has taken place on 12 December 2019, 50 days will remain for the new UK government to formalise its approach to Brexit, which may include adopting the Brexit Deal, holding a second referendum on Brexit or leaving the EU without a deal.

In light of the forthcoming general election, there still remains no certainty about the exact Brexit outcome. We will keep clients updated as matters continue to unfold.


Mark Dorff

P: +44.20.7851.6005

F: +44.20.7851.6100

Neil Micklethwaite

P: +44.20.7851.6086

F: +44.20.7851.6100