On 6th September 2019, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper entitled "A no-deal Brexit: the Johnson Government".
This paper examines recent developments in the Brexit saga, from the UK and the EU perspectives and focussing on the period since the new Boris Johnson Government began on 24th July 2019, which have led to the increased possibility that a "no deal" Brexit might happen. The paper mentions the Benn-Burt Private Members' Bill which sought to block a "no deal" Brexit but was published before the Benn- Burt Bill effectively became law on 9th September 2019 with the passing of the European Union ( Withdrawal ) (No 2) Act 2019.
The Summary within the briefing paper lists the relevant Brexit developments under a number of different headings , some of which are focussed on the buzzwords of the Johnson Government period. The headings are:-
"Turbo-charging" Brexit preparations;
Talking to the EU;
Boris Johnson wants a deal but no "backstop";
UK begins to detach from EU;
Talks with EU are resumed - but is there any progress on the backstop?
EU and UK maintain their "red lines";
The EU continues no-deal Brexit preparations;
UK Government and Parliamentary manoeuvres on Brexit.
The impression may be given to some readers of a slow moving car crash towards a "no deal" - despite the best efforts of the principal players to avoid that happening.
However, a closer examination of the briefing paper may give hope that an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement is just around the corner with some focus on the details of a possible backstop compromise - based, for instance, on complementary regimes in Ireland and Northern Ireland and a suggestion that the UK and Ireland would each make it a criminal offence knowingly to export goods across the UK-Irish border in breach of the other party's regulatory rules.
The European Union ( Withdrawal) ( No.2) Act 2019 now adds a new dimension to the "no deal" Brexit saga with its prescriptive attempt to force the UK Government to apply for an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal notice period if a Withdrawal Agreement approved by Parliament is not reached in the meantime or unless Parliament itself approves a "no deal" Brexit.
It is useful to be able to stand back from the fray and read some hopefully independent analysis as to what is going on in the Brexit stakes.