May in Brexit quick­sand?

Millennium Post - - Mp Editorial -

As mat­ters stand, Bri­tain's Theresa May now seems to be in Brexit quick­sand. In­deed, the UK'S main op­po­si­tion party will likely seek to top­ple Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May's gov­ern­ment and force a gen­eral elec­tion if she loses a key Brexit vote early next week. If the gov­ern­ment sur­vives a vote of no con­fi­dence, Labour could be­gin cam­paign­ing for a se­cond ref­er­en­dum on re­main­ing in the Euro­pean Union, the shadow Brexit sec­re­tary Keir Starmer warned. Now back from G20 talks, May has just one week to con­vince dis­sent­ing mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to pass the bill, a feat the coun­try's pro-brexit En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Michael Gove con­cedes will be “chal­leng­ing.” Un­der the agree­ment reached with Brus­sels, fail­ure to reach an al­ter­nate deal de­faults to a back­stop in the form of a “sin­gle cus­toms ter­ri­tory be­tween the (Euro­pean) Union and the United King­dom.” Such a sit­u­a­tion would essen­tially leave the UK both in and out of the EU, in line with all EU reg­u­la­tions and rules but un­able to in­flu­ence them. As if the North­ern Ire­land is­sue was not bad enough for May's chances, the gov­ern­ment was also forced to ad­mit last week that the deal would be bad for the UK'S econ­omy. In the in­creas­ingly likely event there­fore that May loses next week's vote, Labour will al­most cer­tainly seize on it as an op­por­tu­nity to bring down her gov­ern­ment, which is cur­rently propped up by an un­steady al­liance with the right-wing North­ern Ir­ish Demo­cratic Union­ist Party (Dup),that is it­self ex­pected to vote against the deal. Un­der the Fixed-term Par­lia­ments Act 2011, the gov­ern­ment, in the­ory, has a five-year term,but a vote of no con­fi­dence or a vote by two thirds of the Commons can still trig­ger a gen­eral elec­tion at any time, mak­ing it ex­ceed­ingly dif­fi­cult for the gov­ern­ment of the day to stave off an elec­tion should law­mak­ers wish to go to the vot­ers.

Such a sit­u­a­tion, while it would ramp up pres­sure on May's gov­ern­ment, would likely be prefer­able to the Prime Min­is­ter, who has pre­vi­ously at­tempted to paint Labour as un­trust­wor­thy on Brexit and al­low her to shore up sup­port among Euroskep­tic vot­ers across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. While Labour has pre­vi­ously com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing through on Brexit, sup­port for a se­cond ref­er­en­dum has been grow­ing in­side the party and last month shadow chan­cel­lor John Mcdon­nell said it was “in­evitable” that if a gen­eral elec­tion was not pos­si­ble “then the other op­tion which we've kept on the ta­ble is a peo­ple's vote.” En­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary Gove said that a se­cond ref­er­en­dum “would un­der­mine our democ­racy,” and pre­dicted that if it were held, peo­ple would vote to leave “in even greater num­bers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.