Politics Urban Echo News 

Which way will the Brexit wind blow?

by Nazir Tabassum

The debate goes on throughout the UK after the Brexit vote in the commons as to what would happen to their country, so far as her position in the European fraternity is concerned. There are views and views over the subject being discussed but nothing pragmatic to take out the country from the quagmire of this uncertainty.

There is hardly any sane voice who could dare to express without mincing the words that if “Theresa May’s deal is unacceptable and not a single soul wants to pull out without a deal, then why not to leave the business as usual by withdrawing Article 50, in the wake of European Court’s ruling that the UK can do so without the consent of the rest of 27 EU members”.

George Osborne, former Chancellor and incumbent editor of London’s Evening Standard, said to BBC in Davos: The prospects of no-deal meant “the gun is held to the British economy’s head”. He further said, quoting his successor Chancellor Philip Hammond, who “sensibly” told businesses that leaving without a deal was not a possibility. Mr Osborne, continuing his deliberations over the issue said: “Delaying leaving the EU to beyond 29 March is now the most likely option; the UK must choose between a no-deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.”

George Osborne was one of those politicians who campaigned for REMAIN during the referendum. He said that the Prime Minister must tell the businesses that no-deal Brexit is not an option.

As I write this in the last week of January, Mrs May is once again preparing to test her amended deal by putting it before the House of Commons on Tuesday, the 29th of January. She is adamant not to budge from her position and is seen simply playing with words when she says the “right way” to rule out a no-deal is to back her. It seems that in order to have her own way over Brexit, she may plunge the country into a no-deal situation and thus destroy its economy knowingly.

In the wake of this situation, quite a few MPs, both from the opposition as well as the treasury, have suggested certain amendments. This can be seen as an effort to change the course of Brexit in a number of ways when they have rejected the deal the British Prime Minister had struck with the EU.

Thus, the front bench of Labour has instructed the government to rule out a “disastrous no-deal” situation and let Parliament to consider and vote on options including:

  • An alternative Brexit deal involving its plan for a permanent customs union with Brussels and a version of the EU’s single market.
  • Legislating to hold a public vote on either a deal or a proposition that has MPs support.

 

Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP suggests that the Parliament should be given time to pass a new bill in order to avoid no-deal. This bill will bring a new law that will require Theresa May to seek postponement of Brexit day (the 29th March) until 31 December, if MPs do not approve her deal by 26 February. The Prime Minister will do this by asking EU to agree to extend the two-year limit on Article 50.Similarly, there are quite a few more amendments in circulation. On the same pattern, there are quite a number of campaigners who are struggling hard for holding another referendum on the UK’s membership of EU. Such a referendum may have three options:

It is expected that with the support of senior Conservative back benchers like Nicky Morgan and Oliver Letwin, former Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb and Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake, this amendment has a good chance of success.

This amendment is expected to bring round the government if it is supported by the back benchers of the Conservative party.

  • Theresa May’s deal
  • No-deal
  • Remain

 

Strangely, we want to enjoy the fruit of remaining in the EU while getting out of it. We want the goods, services, people and capital (money) should move between all 28 EU countries. This is what is termed as “Single Market”. Many common rules and standards apply to the countries in this single market. A UK company may sell its product anywhere in the world as easily as it can in Portsmouth and could bring back the cash (capital), could offer maintenance (services) and send a repair team.Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator of EU, has warned that the move led by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to block the Prime Minister from delivering a no-deal Brexit is doomed to fail unless a majority for an alternative agreement is found. In a speech in Brussels he said: “There appears to be a majority in the Commons to oppose a no-deal but opposing a no no-deal will not stop a no-deal from happening at the end of March. To stop “no-deal”, a positive majority for another solution will need to emerge”.“Brexit is what is worrying us at the moment. This is a very difficult time for farmers. It’s a job to plan because nobody knows what’s going to happen. We are on the cusp of lambing just now. I can’t tell you if I’ll have a lucrative market for our lambs or not. You have to carry on even though you don’t know what’s around the corner”.

The same is the case with scores of other businesses; each one of these are lurching in the dark. They don’t know what is there in the store house of Fate for them. Ignorant of what the turn circumstance may take, they cannot plan for future stocking and storing, dealing and wheeling.

It would be most pertinent to look at Brexit with or without a deal in the backdrop of the worries of livestock farmers. Almost all Welsh meat exported from the UK goes to the EU countries. A farmer family of West Wales that has been chiefly occupied with producing livestock for the last five centuries, expresses their worries about Brexit in the following words:

We want to remain in the customs union, that means a trade agreement under which two or more countries do not put tariffs (taxes) on goods coming in from other countries in the union.

But there are others who suggest that there should be only two choices. Those who oppose second referendum say that when the people have decided to leave EU, there is no need for another vote on the issue.

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