The European Union granted the United Kingdom a short reprieve this week, extending the Brexit deadline from March 29 to April 12.
But that still leaves three weeks to go until Brexit officially happens, and the United Kingdom still hasn’t approved a final divorce deal with the European Union.
The UK remains stuck in the same bind it’s been in for weeks: unable to stomach Prime Minister Theresa May’s current Brexit withdrawal agreement and incapable of agreeing on an alternative plan.
The EU’s decision to postpone Brexit gives May one more chance to try to get her divorce deal approved by Parliament. If she succeeds, the EU will extend the deadline until May 22, giving the UK time to pass the necessary domestic legislation. If she fails, then the UK will need to come up with a totally different Brexit approach and ask for a much, much longer extension — or prepare to drop out of the EU on April 12 without a deal.
A no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for the UK economy, and while businesses and people are preparing for the worst — doing everything from stockpiling goods to hoarding medicines — the consequences would be unpredictable and dire.
It’s a mess. But our job at Vox is to try to make sense of it all — and to do that, we needed your help.
Your questions about Brexit, answered
Over the next few weeks, the Vox foreign team — including the hosts of Worldly — will be focusing their attention on what happens now that Brexit has been delayed. In order to help our reporting, we asked you what questions you had about Brexit. You’ll find the answers in the second half of the following podcast episodes:
- This Worldly episode answers your questions about how Scotland and the broader EU are thinking about the UK’s impending break with Europe.
- This Worldly episode answers your questions about Russian interference and the real reasons so many Brits wanted to leave the EU to begin with.
- This Worldly episode answers these questions: What happens if there’s no deal, and why doesn’t Britain just have another vote on Brexit?
Further reading and listening
Catch up on some of our past coverage of the situation:
- Here’s the Worldly episode on what has emerged as the biggest hurdle to the Brexit process: the border between the Republic of Ireland and British-controlled Northern Ireland.
- Here’s the Worldly episode breaking down the UK Parliament’s very big, very bizarre week of voting back in January: Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a huge margin; it also voted to keep May in office despite having just shot down her central policy.
- Here’s the Worldly episode we did back in September on the looming Brexit catastrophe.