May’s last card

Brexit or not Brexit? The UK future will be decided in three days. Political ambitious and economic challenges on the game table.

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Brexit or not Brexit? The UK future decided in three days. Political ambitious and economic challenges on the game table. Britain is looking for a solution.

Read here a gov document on “Taking back control of our borders, money, and laws while protecting our economy, security and Union”.

The last presumed blow of many others, of which neither the number nor the sense can be remembered, dates back to a couple of days ago when Theresa May offered to the House of Commons a postponement, a “short extension” of Brexit. For two years, she has been insisting that Britain’s exit will take place on 29 March of the current year, even without an agreement with the EU.

Brexit or not Brexit for Britain?

It is likely that government members against the “non-agreement” convinced her to refer the matter to Parliament, to decide whether or not to delay the date. So to lengthen the negotiations and then reaching the long-awaited agreement.

“There are three alternatives,” said May, “a deal, a no deal or a no Brexit“. Like in a football game, where you can win, draw or even lose.

But in the latter case, “it would be a betrayal of the British people, which is clearly expressed in this sense,” said the premier.

Corbyn’s challenge: new EU referendum or general elections?

If Labor leader “wants to support” another EU referendum, May replies that “it would be a betrayal, because by changing the word given, Corbyn would not respect the result of the referendum vote”.

However, for the Labor leader a second referendum would constitute the real third possibility after a Brexit supersoft and postponement.

He wants to challenge May in new general elections? May answers more time for more negotiations.

Next steps

1. The government’s agenda foresees another vote by 12 March on the agreement reached with the EU, the so-called Brexit deal. On this agreement May has already been soundly rejected and it is therefore difficult that, with an increasingly divided majority, a different result may emerge. Although in recent days there have been timid openings, since January substantial changes on the “back stop”, i.e. the question of Irish borders, there have been no changes and Brussels has always refused to renegotiate.

In the remote hypothesis that the existing agreement will be voted by the British Parliament, we will go straight to Brexit on the fixed date.

2. Otherwise, the next day the premier will return to Parliament to vote for a possible Brexit no deal. The House of Commons will have to decide on the so-called jump in the dark, a Brexit without agreements. “The United Kingdom will leave the EU without an agreement only if there is explicit consent in this House,” May said.  If there were a majority for a Brexit no deal, which is unlikely as even the brexiteers are quite perplexed about it, the UK will leave the EU on time, but two years of completely unnecessary negotiations and a “catastrophe” announced.

3. On the other hand, if the Parliament does not want a Brexit without a deal, there will be a third vote on March 14, which will decide on a motion presented by the government itself concerning the postponement and then the reopening of new negotiations. Probably with another premier. A real humiliation for May.

What will happen if the UK Parliament refuses to postpone?

It is not clear. A new referendum? It must be said, however, that there is a short time before the new the European elections at the end of May.

Premier assumes that in the cases UK will have to participate in the European elections, even if the message to the 17 million citizens who voted to leave the EU will be ambiguous.

But in any case, what will the 73 newly elected British members of the European Parliament do, knowing that they will probably have to pack their bags again within a few months?

And what numerical weight and what political role will they have in setting up the new Parliament and the new EU Commission?

A Kafkaesque situation, which also includes a part of the British staff of the EU institutions, for months already with suitcases in hand. The rest has already a new passport.

Read here a gov document on “Taking back control of our borders, money, and laws while protecting our economy, security and Union”

Carlo Nicolato

carlo.nicolato@eeuropa.org

Go here for more info on EU Policies

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