The path to Brexit

The Week Middle East - - News -

Amid grow­ing Cab­i­net ten­sions over Brexit, the Gov­ern­ment con­firmed this week that MPs would get a fi­nal say on whether to ac­cept Bri­tain’s exit deal with the EU. But the chance to vote on the agree­ment will only come at the end of the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions, not at the be­gin­ning, as some are de­mand­ing. A cross-party group of MPs – in­clud­ing Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and some se­nior Tories – are press­ing for a Com­mons vote be­fore the trig­ger­ing of Ar­ti­cle 50, which be­gins the two years of talks. Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk in­ter­vened in the de­bate last week, warn­ing that the only al­ter­na­tive to “hard Brexit” was no Brexit. The process would be “painful”, he de­clared. Al­lud­ing to Boris John­son’s fa­mous re­mark about his pol­icy on cake (“pro-hav­ing it and pro-eat­ing it”), Tusk said: “There will be no cakes on the ta­ble for any­one. There will be only salt and vine­gar.” The fall in the value of ster­ling, driven in part by fears of a hard Brexit, led to a brief stand­off last week be­tween Tesco and Unilever, after the lat­ter tried to push up the price of a huge line of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing Mar­mite, by 10%, blam­ing the col­lapse of the pound.

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