Teresa May Takes a Step Forward on Brexit

      With the proposition of a no-deal and hard Brexit becoming a reality, I think it’s time for us as Americans to catch ourselves up to speed on what is happening concerning Brexit.

      Right now the issue is the deal that has recently been approved by Teresa May’s cabinet. On Wednesday, the 14th of November, May appeared from No. 10 Downing Street and delivered the news that the deal had been backed by the cabinet. Among acknowledgments of the tough decisions and threats of no deal and no Brexit, May said the deal would accomplish the following things: deliver on the vote of the referendum, take back control of UK money, laws, and borders, end free movement, protect jobs, security and the UK as a whole. Her Cabinet members, and fellow members of parliament, however, do not agree that the deal does any of these things, or if it does, not in the best way it could.

      Now, what May is proposing in the 585 page document? May stated in parliament on November 15, that the deal ends the free movement agreement under the EU, replacing it with a “skills-based immigration” system. Moreover, her deal secures a “free trade area” with the EU. Essentially keeping them in a similar economic deal with the EU. They would be the only developed country to have such a deal. May’s proposal would also take the UK out of the fisheries and agricultural agreement. It would further allow the UK to be independent in foreign and defense policies, while maintaining a security partnership with the EU, which would include extradition, info exchange, etc. and lastly the Northern Ireland backstop.

      There seem to be three main problems most MPs have with the deal. First, UK sovereignty—if the UK is subject to the EU in any way, no Brexiteer will vote yes. Second, a hard Brexit—the Labour party claims they are united and not a single one of them will vote yes if the deal does not provide the “exact same benefits” as remaining in the EU customs union. Lastly, no support—at the session of Parliament on November 16th when May took questions concerning the deal, there was not a single MP totally in favor of the deal. The deal as a whole, not only displeases the two main parties (Tory and Labour) but the SNP, DUP, Lib-Dem, etc.

      The last point I’d like to make concerns a vote of no confidence. The majority party (Tories) can call for a vote of no confidence. If this happens and May wins, she earns herself an immunity year. If she loses, then a general election would be triggered. Which could result in a Labour government, a party not particularly concerned with delivering on the referendum. If Labour wins it could also result in a second referendum, which I think would be even more destructive and divisive to the UK.

      The Times political staff reports that a vote is coming soon. Already, close to 30 of the 48 needed letters to the 1922 committee have been sent calling for the vote. As May swaps and reforms her cabinet due to resignations and threats of such, it seems to me that the vote approaches. What Tory would replace her in such a situation? Some speculate the newly appointed secretary of work and pensions Amber Rudd, others speculate Michael Gove (secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs), others Jacob Rees-Mogg (an outspoken hard Brexiteer). Further, the BBC reports that EU and UK have agreed in principle to May’s deal. How does this affect the party’s confidence in her? Either way what is clear is that the Tories must unite on one candidate if they are to maintain their leadership in the government, and right now, that does not look promising. The longer it takes May to get support for her deal, the faster a vote of no confidence approaches. It will certainly be an interesting few months. So, pay attention to Brexit and what happens because you never know how this might affect us.

      Sources: BBC, standard.co.uk

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