12 March 2019   Leave a comment

For the second time, the British Parliament has rejected Prime Minister May’s agreement with the European Union for the British withdrawal from the Union. The vote was overwhelmingly against, although by a smaller margin than the earlier defeat. Significantly, the Democratic Unionist Party, the Irish party that allows May to retain a majority, voted against the proposal perhaps signaling the end of May’s ability to lead. The BBC describes how Prime Minister May outlined the next step:

“In a statement after the defeat, Mrs May said: “I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is the UK leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal.

“‘And that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed only deal available.'”

“Setting out the next steps, she said MPs will vote on Wednesday on whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal or not.

“If they vote against a no-deal Brexit, they will vote the following day on whether Article 50 – the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March – should be extended.

“Mrs May said MPs would have to decide whether they want to delay Brexit, hold another referendum, or whether they ‘want to leave with a deal but not this deal’.

“She said that the choices facing the UK were ‘unenviable’, but because of the rejection of her deal, ‘they are choices that must be faced'”.

The press reports of the defeat were uniformly pessimistic as the deadline for a decision is 29 March. It is unclear the Prime Minister May can survive two resounding defeats in Parliament, but there do not seem to be any alternatives waiting in the wings. The Labor Party has not distinguished itself with helpful contributions to the policy debate. The European Union has been more supportive than I would have predicted, but it seems clear that the Union is in no position to offer a more generous deal. Great Britain has not proven to be a reliable negotiating partner and the Union really cannot make additional concessions without the certainty of a deal.

The Vote in Parliament

Posted March 12, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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