Brexit negotiations reaching dead-end

By Arun Srivastava. Dated: 3/12/2019 11:08:48 AM

Britons were never so unsure about future

The Brexit negotiations having stumbled in Brussels after late-night talks with EU officials the British politics is passing through a bind. Both the treasury and opposition leaders are unable to comprehend what political line they should follow in the matter of Brexit. At a time when complete confusion grips the British politics, a labour parliamentarian Yvette Cooper has come up with the suggestion to delay Brexit if Prime Minister Theresa May cannot get her deal through Parliament by a specified date. Interestingly this idea of Cooper has received the support of 15 ministers, including three cabinet ministers.
The way the Brexit is moving it is sure that it cannot be implemented on date. After this development the prime minister has agreed to offer MPs a chance to vote to extend the Article 50 Brexit negotiations. This in effect takes a no-deal Brexit off the table for the time being. Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, promised to support a second referendum on the final deal. This raises the possibility that a Brexit delay might eventually witness a Brexit revote.
At Brussels "strong views" were expressed during three hours of discussion on Tuesday night. One thing is quite certain; soft Brexit would be the ultimate result if May deal is rejected again. But the EU in turn wants to avoid any legal add-on to the withdrawal agreement. There are concerns among UK officials that the EU side is working on the assumption that there will a better opportunity for success once a one-off extension of article 50 is triggered, and MPs face a choice of deal or no deal at a later vote.
Common Britons have started nursing the feeling that a second referendum or a general election is imminent and this would eventually reverse the Brexit. They are annoyed with their politicians. They say "politicians like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Liam Fox who were promising us for the last two years that this trade deal will be the easiest one in history, have failed to deliver anything in the last two years. We'll be back here again at the end of 2020 wondering what the hell are the UK government are going to do?"
They are in a state of shock that they don't have visibility over what will happen on 29 March. Yet another question that haunts the Britons is; how does the UK negotiate a favourable trade deal with the European Union? People charge "They've proven themselves to be pretty incompetent or pretty average negotiators over the last two years. They've achieved almost nothing that was promised by the Brexiteers. They had promised: 'We can leave Europe and nothing will change.'
A perception has gripped the Britons that the future of the UK and the EU lies in free markets, lies in trading together in an EU single market. It's been very good for the UK and leaving would be very damaging for the UK economy.
Leading Brexiteers expect prime minister to impose 'collective decision'. Allowing free vote may spark multiple resignations from the Tory ranks. Apprehensions are also being expressed that some Labour MPs also may put in their papers. Apprehensions are also expressed that government ministers could be ordered to back a no-deal Brexit if Theresa May's agreement is thrown.
In a significant development the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has issued warning that a crash-out Brexit could tip the UK into a recession spilling out across the global economy. The British government also nurses the trepidation that this would badly hit the GDP with the poorest areas - the North East and Northern Ireland - suffering the most. IN view of the emerging situation the international trade secretary, has urged Tories to drop their opposition to the withdrawal agreement and allow it to pass.
If it is rejected, MPs will vote on whether to rule out a no-deal Brexit and - if that is vetoed - on whether to seek an extension of Article 50, to delay departure beyond 29 March. Under the lingering perception of no-deal Brexit could push UK into recession, the Labour party has directed its MPs to vote for second Brexit referendum amendment. It is presumed that a no-deal Brexit would reduce GDP by around 2 per cent in the UK for the next two years. The likely near-term recession in the United Kingdom would generate sizeable negative spillovers on growth in other countries.
It is worth mentioning the warnings from the Bank of England, which last year had said a no deal could plunge the UK into a larger recession. IN such a scenario the UK economy would contract by 8 per cent, house prices would fall by a third, unemployment would spike to 7.5 per cent and the value of the pound would fall .
The shadow Labour chancellor said the party would back an amendment being tabled by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson after it dramatically shifted its policy last week to support a fresh public poll. Some have demanded a free vote on the issue so they do not have to defy party orders or resign from frontbench jobs. Nonetheless the government is hoping to win Labour MPs' backing for the deal, and earlier this week announced a £1.6bn fund to help 'left behind' towns.
Some MPs had demanded investment in deprived areas and guarantees on workers' rights and environmental protections in return for supporting the deal. Labour's shift to support a fresh Brexit referendum was seen in part as a bid to stop further MPs defecting to The Independent Group (TIG). Eight Labour MPs and three Conservatives have already joined the new grouping and other Labour MPs have admitted they are considering their position in their party. TIG took its first step towards becoming a full political party on Tuesday when some of its MPs held talks with the Electoral Commission.
The prime minister's chances of securing a victory in the vote rest on her convincing the Tory backbench European Research Group (ERG) and Northern Irish DUP partners in government that the UK will not be trapped in the Irish backstop.
There is no doubt that the Brexit vote has hit growth. There is a strong consensus that, to date, the UK economy is perhaps 1 to 2 per cent smaller than it otherwise would have been. Leaving the single market will mean substantial new barriers to UK companies, and there is little or nothing in the political declaration to suggest that UK will get much in the way of special treatment. There is no option that will resolve the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over the UK economy any time soon.
—(IPA Service)

 

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