Nowhere is the ineptitude of global governance more glaring than in the deplorable pace of Brexit negotiations.
It’s been more than two and a half years since the majority of Brits who cast their votes chose to see the UK part ways with the EU. But since their vote on 23 June 2016, both British and European Union negotiators have done little but make a mockery of that decision.
And now British Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to delay the process yet again.
May needs more time to make amendments
That’s right. According to the Telegraph and our friends at DPA, May plans to ask for yet another extension to the Brexit process.
Since her divorce deal was shut down in parliament back in mid-January, May has been working to resolve the concerns raised by her fellow MPs regarding the deal which is two years in the making.
The main issue has to do with the proposed ‘backstop’ between Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland, which was May’s alternative to an otherwise hard custom border between the UK–EU divide.
But this arrangement wasn’t good enough. The prevailing argument is that a backstop somewhat undermines the integrity and independence Britain gained from Brexit, and potentially sets the nation up to be vulnerable to a potentially holistic post-Brexit EU.
In a moment of desperation, May put forth an amendment to change the backstop agreement to ‘alternative arrangements’, but the EU was having none of it.
And now, with a vote on the revised deal supposed to go through parliament this week, May has no viable changes to offer.
As a result, she’s been somewhat cornered into asking for more time to figure out some kind of solution.
Brexit coming closer to an all-or-nothing end
So now recent reports say that Julian Smith, the chief whip, signalled to parliament that the revised deal vote has been postponed to the end of February.
With this follows a cascading effect of other potential postponements that could result in the need for an extension of Article 50 — the law which makes 29 March the Brexit deadline.
For instance, if after this extra time a withdrawal deal still isn’t agreed upon, May will need to request an amendment to Article 50 from the EU, or else commit to a no-deal Brexit.
With the hardline Brexiteers still adamantly refusing to accept this as an option, the naysayers have bitten back with a claim that May is orchestrating this delay in order to pressure parliament into an all-or-nothing scenario.
The ‘all’ being an unwavering acceptance of her original divorce deal, and the ‘nothing’ being either a deal-less EU exit or no exit at all.
While we here at The Australian Tribune are veering more on the side of a directionless government rather than a sinister prime minister, we can’t deny that the all-or-nothing is looking to be the only way forward for this Brexit mess.
The EU so far is refusing to reopen negotiations. So it really is up to Britain to finally reach a conclusion.
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