On 1 February 2017, Parliament voted to trigger article 50; the EU subsequently accepted this application. The EU Withdrawal Act 2018 is already UK statute and according to its provisions, by law, the UK must leave the EU on 29 March.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, said before the G20 meeting in November 2018 that the UK had the following choices: this deal, no deal or no Brexit. Leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority. However, without backing the Withdrawal Agreement or pivoting towards a second Brexit referendum, the UK will default to leaving the EU without a deal.
In remarks to the European Parliament on 16 January 2019, Michel Barnier stated “ratification of this Withdrawal Agreement is necessary. It is a precondition to create mutual trust amongst ourselves looking forward to the second round of negotiations that will start as soon as possible on our future relationship.”
The Prime Minister will make an oral Ministerial statement to parliament on 21 January 2019, setting out the Government’s next steps on Brexit. The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom MP, has also announced there will be a second ‘meaningful vote’ on the 29 January 2019.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of TIGA, said:
“Leaving the EU without a deal creates a number of uncertainties for the UK video games industry. While the UK Government has indeed published a series of papers to help inform both businesses and citizens about the implications of a no-deal Brexit, there is no sector-specific notice for the UK gaming industry.
“TIGA remains concerned about access to EU talent if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Video games developers depend on the ability to have access to highly-skilled workers from the EU and EEA with minimum red tape and cost. To compete globally we need easy access to the best and brightest talent.
“There is also uncertainty about access to finance. Although the Government has guaranteed funding of EU programmes, from now until the end of 2020 in a no deal scenario, it is not clear what arrangements will be put in place after this date.
“TIGA will continue to advocate for the UK video games industry to ensure that the UK Government understands our concerns and that our industry continues to thrive post-Brexit.”