Days to go

Just a few days to go before the Brexit day set in law.  The national and international news are dominated by other concerns.  And an empty space is opening where no one knows what’s happening.  It’s evident that the UK Government and UK Parliament made a massive mistake by invoking Article 50 without a clear agreed plan.

In the snap UK General Election in 2017 the British electorate returned a Parliament that did not give a Conservative Government a majority.   UK Prime Minister May failed to understand that, if she wanted Brexit that would mean cross-party working and compromise.  All there was tabled, was red-lines and stubborn headbutting so the resulting stale mate should be no surprise.

Until this afternoon, it’s assumed that UK Prime Minister May will try to get her deal accepted by the House of Commons (HoC) by a 3rd vote.  It was assumed that the UK Government would be finding the ways and means to tempt those who have opposed her deal.

Now, HoC speaker John Bercow says Prime Minister May cannot bring further meaningful votes on Brexit unless there’s a substantial difference in what’s being offered.  The logic of this is that it stops a Government bullying the HoC and its members into submission.

Whatever happens, one fixed point is the European Council (Art. 50) meeting on Thursday, 21 March[1].  Here the EU27 leaders will meet to discuss the latest developments.  There will be new developments but it’s difficult to predict what they might be at this stage.   This must be a unique situation in recent international affairs.

My prediction remains that a lengthy delay is in prospect.  If that is agreed there will be need for a plan to be tabled and accepted by all parties.  At last, you might say.

Some say that EU officials are thinking that a Short Term (ST) extension would run beyond 23-26 May 2019.  Thus, the UK could need to make arrangements to participate in European Parliament (EP) elections.  Some are contemplating asking for a second referendum as a condition for a Long Term (LT) extension.  But all is still up in the air at this moment.

[1] https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2019/03/21/art50/

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