The U.K. has been granted permission to retain its membership in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) after it leaves the European Union (EU) later this month. U.K. payment service providers, represented through UK Finance, filed an application in December with the European Payments Council (EPC) to request it continue participation in SEPA in the event that there is no deal reached before the country leaves the EU.
The EPC decided on March 7 “to approve the application from UK Finance for the continued participation of [the] U.K. in the schemes after [March 29, 2019] in the event of a no-deal Brexit,” according to Finextra.
The vote on a Brexit deal looks like it’s going to come down to the wire. Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a vote in parliament on her Brexit deal.
“We won’t bring a meaningful vote to parliament this week, but we will ensure that that happens by the 12th of March,” May told reporters at the time. “It is still within our grasp to leave the European Union with a deal on the 29th of March, and that is what we are working to do.”
The vote will come 17 days before the U.K. is due to leave the EU. As a result, opponents have accused May of trying to run out the clock, with three members of her cabinet declaring that they would side with the opposition to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Yvette Cooper, an opposition Labour lawmaker who has proposed legislation to block a no-deal Brexit, said the prime minister’s “last minute announcement that she won’t put a deal to parliament this week, and is leaving it until just two weeks before Brexit day, is utterly shambolic and irresponsible.”
Cooper added, “She cannot just keep drifting and dithering like this, or there is a real risk our whole country tumbles off a cliff edge into a chaotic no-deal that no one is ready for, and that would hit food prices, medicine supplies, manufacturing and security.”