• Alexander Poran

Vote On New Brexit Deal Cutting It Close To The Wire

This Week In Brexit

After a series of ultimatums from those inside and out of her own party, Theresa May and her government have tabled votes on blocking no-deal Brexit, extending Article 50, and EU citizens rights post-Brexit, as well announcing that the next meaningful vote on her Brexit deal will be 12th of March. With the 29th March leaving date for the UK - welcome to the final countdown Britain!

What Happened?

You know how you have that one friend who always promises to see you but keeps coming up with a reason to postpone every time you want to hang out? Yeah, that’s what May is doing with Brexit. The Prime Minister announced Monday that the next meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament would be delayed until 12 March, just 17 days before to the divorce from the European Union. Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn fired back on Twitter saying that the PM is recklessly running down the clock on Brexit. At the same time, it was discovered that Downing Street officials are preparing plans to extend Brexit for at least two months should May’s deal lose its second vote on 12 March (I think you’d make good pals with those guys, Corbyn).

Jeremy Corbyn thrust himself into the spotlight again on Tuesday by publicly supporting another vote on Brexit for the first time. His announcement came as it became clear that his party’s plan for a permanent customs union with the European Union post-Brexit would certainly fail in Parliament. You win some you lose, I guess? A further 15 ministers told May they would resign unless a vote on an amendment to block a no-deal Brexit was tabled, in addition to three senior Cabinet members who told her the same over the weekend. If this keeps up, May will have so few ministers left that their numbers will soon be, well, conservative. Yikes, I’ll see myself out.

On Wednesday Theresa May officially announced that the next meaningful vote on her Brexit deal will take place on 12 March (as if the entire bloody Parliament didn’t already know). She also promised that votes on extending Article 50, as well as ruling out a no-deal Brexit, would take place, a major retreat from her strong outspokenness against these two subjects in the last few weeks. At the same time she called on Parliament to do its best and focus on the Brexit issue so they would not have to extend the leave date past 29 March. You know, because it’s the MPs who have all the negotiating power with the EU and not the leader of the country (please note the sarcasm).

Prime Minister May awoke to an enormous Tory rebellion on Thursday, furious over her

promise for a vote on extending Article 50 (when I first saw this I visualised that scene of a mob from the Simpsons Movie). In a Conservative vote on the amendment, 20 MPs voted against it and nearly 80 abstained from the voting. 80?! Honestly with those numbers she may as well have promised a vote on extending Donald Trump’s presidency. May’s government finally backed down over increasing pressure from the public about their stance on the right of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit, promising a vote on the issue alongside the votes on blocking no-deal Brexit and extending Article 50.

The week ended on one final sour note for PM May, with her Agriculture minister and longtime Tory Brexiteer George Eustice resigning. His resignation stated his reason being the government’s decision to allow a vote on extending Article 50. Despite calling this decision the “final humiliation of the country”, he still promised to vote for May’s Withdrawal Agreement. That’s like a kid telling their mum that her cooking sucks but then still eating everything on their dinner plate! Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is creating an amendment that would allow the UK, EU, or a third-party to end the Northern Irish backstop any time after the post-Brexit transition period is over.

Well folks, we’re in March. We’re less than four weeks away from one of the most important releases in British history. I hope you’re as excited for the live-action recreation of Disney’s

classic, Dumbo, as I am. Oh right Brexit happens that day too, my bad.

Brexit Glossary:

Customs Union: a group of states that have agreed to charge the same import duties as each other and usually to allow free trade between themselves.

Article 50: the article that the United Kingdom imposed when it made its sovereign decision to leave the European Union. This article gave the leave date a maximum of two years time from its imposition.

‘No-Deal’ Brexit: a scenario in which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without any trade agreement, is only subject to World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations.

29 March: the date on which the United Kingdom will officially separate from the European Union.

Withdrawal Agreement: the official title of the treaty for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

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