May Stands Firm On Withdrawal Agreement.
Prime Minister Theresa May, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philp Hammond, have stated that the current proposal for the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union is the best deal possible, and will be the only option. The plan has faced considerable backlash since it was revealed to the public over a week ago, and May was subject to letters of no-confidence led by backbencher and “Tory rebel” Jacob Rees-Mogg. The so-called “coup” failed, but May’s position is by no means secure.
Call it stubborn, but this was the only way May could have approached this situation. There is nothing else but to plow through and hope to scare people into submission. In addition to Hammond and the newest cabinet, she has received support from former minister Kenneth Clarke, centrist neo-liberal extraordinaire, and Remainer. Basically, the only ones supporting the deal at this point are the people everyone hates.
Debate On Brexit Will Happen
Theresa May has agreed to participate in a debate over Brexit with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. But they can’t agree which channel it should be on. It will take place on Sunday 9th December, two days before the vote before the House of Commons. If the withdrawal agreement passes, it will come into law and will represent the UK’s relationship with the EU for the next few years.
As long as Corbyn doesn’t suggest we have another referendum, I suppose this is something to look forward to. It would have been better to have a Rees-Mogg in the opposing chair though, as Corbyn will see this as a general election campaign opportunity. Regarding the EU, his heart isn’t in one place or another – he will nail May for poor leadership.
100 MPs Claim They Will Vote Down Deal
Now 100 members of parliament have stated that they will vote down the withdrawal agreement as it currently stands when it comes to the House of Commons on 11th December. It seems as though all opposition parties, including the recently rebellious DUP, will vote against the motion too. With only a working majority of 13 at best, it seems at this point the deal has absolutely no chance of passing as it stands. May has two weeks to convince parliament, hence her “best deal and only deal,” rhetoric.
No Deal Still An Option?
The so-called “no deal,” meaning a withdrawal from the EU with only World Trade Organisation regulations in place, would be the most likely option in the event of this agreement being voted down. Even May, who is adamantly against this scenario, has refused to rule it out. The only other options are: change the withdrawal deal into something that could pass the House of Commons, or hold a second referendum.
The lack of time all but rules out the other options, in my opinion. The EU is obstinate on the current deal, which in my view is a punishment. The Conservatives are unlikely to sanction a second referendum. They would not get the necessary majority to introduce the legislation for it, which takes up to six months anyway. There would have to be a general election, and Labour would have to win, and even then, leadership would have to be fully on board with a second referendum. Out of all the people in Labour, Corbyn happens to be the least interested. There simply isn’t enough time before the UK officially withdraws from the EU on the 29th March 2019.
Meanwhile, the anti-No-Deal fearmongering continues, as Security Minister Ben Wallace claims it would lead to a risk to national security. He claims that there is no guarantee that data-sharing agreements would continue, meaning a chance that terrorism and crime could be a risk. So after we’ve run out of drinking water, we’ll get blown up by a terrorist. Sounds legit.
You can read more from James Smith on Think Liberty here.