Brexit Bitesize

It was not specifically “Brenda from Bristol’” and her exclamations that led to the passing of the Fixed Term Parliament Act in 2011 (the “Act”).

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Brexit Bitesize

It was not specifically “Brenda from Bristol’” and her exclamations that led to the passing of the Fixed Term Parliament Act in 2011 (the “Act”). Rather, it was a desire from the then coalition government to transfer power from the Prime Minister to Parliament, by limiting the Prime Minister’s ability to utilise the Royal Prerogative (yes that again) to call an election whenever he or she wished.

A General Election can now essentially only be called early (i.e. less than 5 years from the last one) if Parliament wills it by passing a vote with a 2/3 majority in favour of such an election.

If, as appears very likely, such a vote happens in the next day or so, ironically, we will have had 3 elections in the last 8 years.

Double irony, just before the Summer Recess, the House of Lords Constitution Committee launched an Inquiry into the effectiveness and workings of the Act, as it is due for statutory review in 2020. Among the questions the Inquiry poses itself are: –

“What impact has the Act had on the notion of the House of Commons having “confidence” in a Government? Is it still possible for the Government to make a vote in the House of Commons on a matter of policy a “confidence” issue?”

The Inquiry is seeking evidence by 26 September. It does not appear it will need to wait that long!

The Government has made the issue of blocking a no-deal Brexit route a matter of confidence and with the Labour Party favouring a General Election, if the “confidence” vote is lost, the Government appears ready to move, and the House of Commons ready to pass, a vote for a General Election on 15 October

That in itself is unusual being a Tuesday but is timed to precede the European Leaders meeting on Thursday 17 October.

All eyes will be on Parliament, including Brenda’s, over the next crucial couple of days.

If you have any questions about the latest Brexit updates, please contact Partner, Giles Searby at or call Giles on 0114 252 1423.

Manufacturer’s Brexit Round Table – Succeeding in International Trade beyond Brexit

Keebles have joined with SITC to discuss key issues facing manufacturing businesses post-Brexit.

Date: Thursday 24 October 2019

Time: 8:30 AM until 11 noon

Venue: Adelphi Room at Crucible Theatre, Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA.


Paul Trudgill, Partner and Head of Manufacturing at Keebles LLP – Welcome and Introduction

Nick Patrick, Head of the Sheffield International Trade Centre – The Trusted Trader / Authorised Economic Operator Regime

Giles Searby, Partner at Keebles LLP and Tom Rook, Solicitor at Keebles LLP – Brexit issues in international commercial contracts

Carys Everitt, Legal Director at Keebles LLP – Brexit and international personal data transfers

This is an event for Manufacturers to reflect on the impending Brexit deadline and its impact – deal or no deal – beyond 31 October.

For any further information about the event or to reserve your place, please email

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