On our 28 November 2018 Brexit webinar, we were delighted to be joined by Daniel Finkelstein OBE to share with us his thoughts on the current status of the Brexit negotiations.  Daniel is an Associate Editor and weekly columnist for the Times newspaper, a member of the House of Lords since 2013 and has advised many prominent Conservative party ministers.   In an informative discussion, he gave us his views on a variety of issues including:

  • What will happen if the House of Commons does not vote in favour of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, including the likelihood that there will be a second vote if the deal is defeated.
  • The big alternative options being discussed:  (a) an alternative deal centred around the “Norway plus” or “Norway for now” model; (b) a second referendum; (c) a general election.
  • The possibility of the House of Lords amending the Trade Bill 2017-2019 to include customs union and/or EEA membership – the “joker in the pack”.
  • The chance of the EU agreeing to extend the negotiation timetable, in particular if there is a second referendum with “remain” an option.

During the webinar, we also conducted our latest poll which concluded:

  • 71% of our listeners believe that the negotiating parties will not ratify a withdrawal agreement by 29 March 2019 and there will be an extension of the negotiations, which has considerably increased since our webinar held immediately after the Withdrawal Agreement publication (56%). 15% believe that there will be a deal (compared to 32.8% in October) and 14% believe that the UK will exit the EU with “no deal” in place (compared to 11.2% in October).
  • 48.4% believe that Theresa May will be the Prime Minister on exit day (versus 70% on previous poll), with the remaining 45.9% envisaging another Tory leader and a slight increase for those expecting Jeremy Corbyn to head the country (5.7% compared to 2.6%).
  • Over 95% of our listeners have started their Brexit planning process, which is a 5% increase from those polled in October.

If anyone has questions arising out of the webinar, they can submit them via the webinar app and we will respond via email. To access the webinar recording, please contact Jane Webber.