‘PM will lose vote and Gov­ern­ment will move back leav­ing date’ MPs should take con­trol – SNP leader

Western Mail - - NEWS -

BRI­TAIN is un­likely to leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29, the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit has pre­dicted.

The fore­cast­ing group said it ex­pects the Prime Min­is­ter will lose the crit­i­cal “mean­ing­ful vote” on her Brexit deal to­mor­row, and the Gov­ern­ment will then be forced to re­quest an ex­ten­sion to Ar­ti­cle 50.

The EIU be­lieves Brus­sels will agree to an ex­ten­sion, mean­ing Bri­tain will re­main in the trade bloc be­yond the planned exit date.

Crash­ing out of the EU with­out a deal is the least likely out­come, ac­cord­ing to the fore­cast, which put the prob­a­bil­ity of a no-deal exit at 5%.

In­stead, the EIU said there was a 40% chance Mrs May’s deal would even­tu­ally be ap­proved by Par­lia­ment in a sub­se­quent vote, after gain­ing fur­ther as­sur­ances from Brus­sels. And it pre­dicted a 30% prob­a­bil­ity of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum be­ing called to break the po­lit­i­cal dead­lock.

Danielle Har­alam­bous, UK an­a­lyst at the EIU, said: “Time is sim­ply run­ning out, and we’re at a stage where Brexit can prob­a­bly only hap­pen in late March now in the un­likely event that Par­lia­ment ap­proves Mrs May’s deal on Jan­uary 15, or if Par­lia­ment sup­ports leav­ing with­out a deal.

“For all other op­tions, the Gov­ern­ment will need to buy more time, and we think the EU will be will­ing to pro­vide it to avoid a cliff-edge sit­u­a­tion.

“Mrs May and her Gov­ern­ment are not pre­pared to run down the Ar­ti­cle 50 clock and leave the EU with­out a with­drawal agree­ment and tran­si­tion ar­range­ments in place, al­though this re­mains a pos­si­ble Brexit out­come later in 2019.”

She added: “How­ever, de­lay­ing Brexit does not re­move the down­side risks to the process. With the time it has bought, the Gov­ern­ment can pur­sue a new plan, but it will still be work­ing to­wards a dead­line to re­solve the same deep po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sions over what Brexit should look like.

“In our view, the longer this po­lit­i­cal dead­lock lasts, the higher the prob­a­bil­ity of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum

MPS must take con­trol of the House of Com­mons and en­sure that a nodeal Brexit is avoided, the SNP’s West­min­is­ter leader has said.

Politi­cians are due to vote on the Brexit deal pro­posed by Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May at West­min­ster on Tues­day.

Speak­ing on the BBC’s Sun­day Pol­i­tics pro­gramme, Ian Black­ford said Mrs May should not por­tray her deal as be­ing the only route to avoid­ing leav­ing the Euro­pean Union with­out a deal in place

Mr Black­ford said: “I think ev­ery­one now knows that there is no such thing as a ‘good Brexit’, there’s no such thing as a ‘jobs-first Brexit’, as some have claimed.

“Un­der any sce­nario, peo­ple are go­ing to be poorer, peo­ple are go­ing to lose their jobs.

“As politi­cians, we’ve got a re­spon­si­bil­ity to have a con­ver­sa­tion with ev­ery­body that we now know that Brexit is go­ing to be painful.

“I would like the House of Com­mons now to take con­trol be­cause the Prime Min­is­ter has failed to give lead­er­ship.

“The Prime Min­is­ter’s got to stop threat­en­ing Par­lia­ment and in­deed, threat­en­ing the whole of the United King­dom, that it’s a choice be­tween her deal and no deal - that’s not the case.”

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