Despite some calls from unexpected sources, any second referendum on Britain's EU membership has been ruled out by the UK Government: Whitehall remains firm on its position that the United Kingdom will definitely be leaving the EU in March 2019.
After the Government made it through “phase one” of the negotiations with the EU in late 2017, the UK thus prepares to become an independent international trader. As Prime Minister May highlighted in her speech in Florence, the UK’s strategic objectives in its trade relations encompass both ensuring that UK-EU trade is as frictionless as possible, and establishing an independent international trade policy. During the transition Britain endeavours to ensure stability and legal certainty for economic operators, especially by means of an “implementation period”.
January has been a month full of revelations - as much as of heated debates - on all these points.