Brexit: deal or no deal - EU Committee launches inquiry

26 September 2017

The European Union Committee launches a new inquiry into Brexit: deal or no deal.

Scope of the inquiry

The House of Lords EU Select Committee is today launching a new inquiry, entitled Brexit: deal or no deal? This inquiry will examine the key components of any implementation, or transition period, including its legal basis, the institutional structures that will be needed to support it, and the likely cost to the UK, particularly in form of ongoing budgetary contributions. On the other side of the coin, the Committee will consider the implications of a failure to reach agreement on transition – a ‘no deal’ scenario. Key questions the Committee will consider include:

  • Is the Prime Minister’s Florence speech a good basis for the UK and EU to reach agreement in the Article 50 negotiations?
  • What potential stumbling-blocks remain? Under what scenarios might the outcome of the negotiations be ‘no deal’?
  • What would be the implications, good and bad, of ‘no deal’?
  • Is a transition arrangement a necessary component of any lasting agreement, and if so, why?
  • What will be the key components of a transition arrangement?
  • How will the UK-EU relationship be conducted during the transition period?
  • How long should the transition period last?

The Committee welcomes the views of stakeholders on the issues outlined above. Any submissions should be sent to the Committee, at euclords@parliament.uk, no later than 26 October 2017.


In her Florence speech on 22 September 2017, the Prime Minister restated that the UK would “cease to be a member of the European Union on 29 March 2019”. She also outlined what she called the “deep and special partnership” that the UK would seek with the EU post-Brexit.

Mrs May conceded, however, that by March 2019 “neither the EU – nor the EU and its Member States – will be in a position to implement smoothly many of the detailed arrangements” that would underpin the continuing UK-EU relationship. She therefore proposed a “period of implementation” after the UK leaves the EU, which she described as “a bridge from where we are now to where we want to be”.

The Prime Minister proposed that, during this time-limited implementation period, the UK and EU should continue to access one another’s markets on current terms, and that the UK should also continue to take part in existing security measures. She said that the existing structure of EU rules and regulations would provide the framework for this implementation period, which would be agreed under Article 50 TEU. She expected the implementation period to last around two years.

In response, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, announced that the UK’s proposal would be examined in light of the European Council guidelines of 29 April 2017. These stated that “Should a time-limited prolongation of Union acquis be considered, this would require existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures to apply.”

First meeting

Tuesday 10 October in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

At 4.05pm the Committee will hear from:

  • John Longworth, Co-Chairman, Leave Means Leave
  • Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group

Further information

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