The UK will hold a General Election on 8 June. While this will mean that the ongoing work of the Government on Brexit will be put on hold, the two-year deadline for the negotiations continues to draw closer. Businesses would be wise to take advantage of the current pause before the negotiations begin to define their priorities, to communicate these forcefully to decision-makers and to plan ahead for the main potential outcomes.
There is speculation whether the election may result in a change in the UK’s objectives for Brexit. Given the timing of the election, it is now possible that a new Government could seek a longer transitional period until the Brexit deal is fully implemented. In terms of the substance of such a deal, the government has made its fundamental objectives clear in recent statements and White Papers1. Since these include controlling migration from the EU, exerting the sovereignty of Parliament over UK laws, ending the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU and negotiating free trade agreements across the world, the Prime Minister has also indicated that, as a consequence, the UK will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. While the results of any election are always unpredictable, it is safe to assume that if re-elected the Prime Minister will not alter those fundamental parameters.