Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed: Day 73, Plan A

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Photo Credit: Jonathan McHugh
Photo Credit: Jonathan McHugh

After a five days delay, today in the UK Parliament MPs are deciding whether they are going to back the PM’s deal for leaving the European Union. There have been five days of intense debate over the divorce agreement and still the outcome is unclear.

Although the Conservative Party alongside DUP hold the majority in the Parliament, the deal is likely to be defeated. Theresa May hasn’t managed to convince her own backbenchers to vote for her deal, more than 100 of them being expected to vote against it according to a Guardian analysis. Also the majority of the Democratic Unionists and Tory MPs are opposing the deal.

The biggest concern according to Dominic Raab, former Brexit secretary, is the hard border with Ireland. In the attempt of extending the hand to Theresa May, on Monday EU’s senior officials have issued a statement dismissing the idea of a permanent customs union, reassuring that the backstop is temporary but still refusing to agree to the 12-month time limit.

In case the deal is rejected tonight in the House of Commons, Theresa May has three sitting days to deliver the Parliament a reviewed deal, meaning she would have to go back to Brussels for concessions.

Although the option of a new referendum has been widely discussed especially amongst the opposition party, according to Art. 50 of TEU, there is a period of two years of negotiations for any Member State that decides to withdraw from the European Union if by unanimous agreement of the European Council this period is not extended. Nonetheless, Great Britain will leave the European Union on March 29, with or without a deal.

A no-deal Brexit would be terribly damaging for the United Kingdom’s economy since new taxes would apply, leading to a increase in prices, and difficulties would arise in getting goods into the country. Also the border between North Ireland and Ireland would become a frontier with customs and immigration controls.

With May’s deal most likely to be rejected today in Parliament, with the EU not very willing to make additional concessions and with the opposition party hoping for a vote of no-confidence which would further develop the political and economic crisis, winter is coming in the United Kingdom.

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