Recent Brexit updates have left British Prime Minister Theresa May caught between a rock and a hard place, it seems.
Her fellow MPs demand changes to the divorce deal she concocted, but the EU refuse to accept any alterations to that original withdrawal plan.
The head-butting conflict arose after a failed attempt to alter the ‘backstop’ agreement on the Irish Boarder to vague and unclarified ‘alternative arrangements’ — a desperate attempt by May to get this deal through parliament before the Article 50 deadline comes around.
The EU quickly shot this down, saying the ‘backstop’ was non-negotiable.
But even Ireland, who wish to avoid a hard border, believe this alteration was useless. In fact, they believe it was nothing more than ‘wishful thinking’ on May’s part.
Backstop debate brought to a halt
The backstop was made to be a sort of insurance policy to prevent customs checks having to occur between the UK-aligned Republic of Ireland and EU member Northern Ireland.
But many Brexiteers don’t agree with the backstop, as it arguably undermines the while point of Brexit. While the UK will maintain market access to Europe with the backstop, they lose control over trade or economic policy.
And that’s a vulnerable position which hard-line Brexit supporters are wanting to avoid.
There seemed to be enough of such thinkers in British parliament earlier this week, managing to secure a slim 317–310 majority for securing a replacement for the backstop.
Problem is, there’s been no other method offered up as a potential solution to the Irish border issue, as Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney pointed out:
‘What we are being asked to do here is to compromise on a solution that works, and to replace it with wishful thinking.’
According to RAW, France is unwilling to renegotiate the backstop. And European Council President Donald Tusk has said the deal was ‘not open for renegotiation’.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was also of that opinion. But she also noted that Brussels is quite unsure as to what Britain are after in these renegotiations. And with phrases like ‘alternative arrangements’, it seems Britain is no longer sure either.
As such, Juncker believes the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit has grown even more likely. British Sterling has traded over a cent down since the amendment vote, which means currency traders must be sharing Juncker’s view.
Deadline approaching, Britain forced to act
Despite all these ‘hard no’ claims, there is still some room for slight negotiation.
According to RAW, EU sources have said that additional clarifications, statements or assurances regarding the backstop may be added.
It’s very little wiggle room, but if used wisely, could be enough to get British MPs on board with the plan.
May isn’t buying it though, wanting all or nothing…a legally binding change. She feels it is what’s needed to finally get that parliament approval that’s been over two years in the making.
A revised deal — in whatever state it’s in — will go through the House on 13 February. If it fails to pass, voting on next steps will commence the following day.
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas hit the nail on the head, saying the British government ‘must now say quickly what it wants, because time is running out’.
‘We are ready to talk.
‘Our position is clear: the Withdrawal Agreement is the best and only solution for an orderly exit.’
A little more telling than talking, but right now, Britain should take what they can get in terms of negotiation.
That must be what led opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to have a ‘serious and engaged’ conversation with May regarding an ‘alternative plan’ for Brexit.
Corbyn, who is stubbornly against a no-deal Brexit, must also see that the clock is ticking and options are rather limited.
Because ultimately, if that clock runs out and no revised deal is agreed upon, the only way for a timely Brexit to happen is for it to be a naked one.
Free Report: Phil Anderson reveals a virtually unknown, monarchy inspired income stream that he believes could financially benefit every tax paying Aussie citizen for the next 100 years.