Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Brexit Delay: Yay or Nay?

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Fleur Boya
Fleur is an expressionist artist and global politics enthusiast, as well as both a cinephile and a bibliophile. She is a University of Leeds alumni with a degree in International Relations. As a political journalist for the TCS Network, Fleur hopes to educate a large number of millennials that have a depleting or non-existing interest in politics. However, above her insatiable interest in the international political climate and exploring the context of unstable relationships between state ‘superpowers’, she is a follower of Jesus and believes that love cures and conquers all things.

On March 12th, Parliament will vote on another Brexit agreement deal put forward by Theresa May, however there are talks of a potential delay in leaving the European Union, which is leaving many people very uncertain and uncomfortable. 


President of the European Council, Donald Tusk was asked about the prospect of an Article 50 extension. He responded by stating that the closer it gets to the deadline – March 29th – the more likely an extension becomes. At the moment, there is no strong majority in the House of Commons for a potential deal, thus an extension would be a “rational solution”, of which the EU would be “understanding”.”I believe that in the situation we are in, an extension would be a rational decision but prime minister May still believes she will be able to avoid this scenario,” Tusk told a news conference in Egypt a day after seeing the British leader, according to the Guardian. 


Whilst Donald Tusk supports the extension of Article 50 in an almost sympathetic manner, most people are enraged and despise the possibility of living in uncertainty for another 2 years. According to Independent, Guy Verhofstadt, The European Parliament’s Brexit Chief, branded Theresa May’s position to delay the Common’s ballot as “one of the most reckless” he had ever seen, accusing May of “kicking the can down the road”. 


Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, also sides with Verhofstadt, stating that May “could not be trusted” to not avoid another significant vote. According to BBC news, he also said: “It’s the height of irresponsibility for any government to threaten its citizens with these consequences. Rule out no deal, extend Article 50, but do it today – this should not be left until the middle of March.”

Ex-Conservative, Anna Soubry and former Labour MP, Chuka Umunna have warned May that the deadline agreed in Parliament had to be met. The Independent Group have become vocal on this issue since its formation, stating that the member MPs will bring contempt proceedings if the Conservatives “fail to publish cabinet papers on the damage on the no-deal Brexit wishing 48 hours”.“If they don’t do so” Umunna states, “we will immediately move to institute contempt proceedings against them in the Commons for going back on their promises,”Beyond the Westminster Sphere, ADS Group Chief Executive Paul Everitt mentioned that the poorly managed political process of the Withdrawal Agreement causes evident damage to the British economy. He states: “The continued delay is turning the UK’s political failure into a full-blown economic crisis”, as reported by Reuters.


Though many people are gritting their teeth and ripping their hair over the prospect of a delayed Brexit, blaming Theresa May for being disorganised and, as Guy Verhofstadt describes, “reckless”, May has made her perspective on the circumstance very clear. 
For an extension to be achieved, Theresa May must formally ask the European leaders for the Article 50 process to be extended, with the member states unanimously agreeing to her request.According to the Telegraph, May told MPs “I do not want to see Article 50 extended”, before then going on to say: “our absolute focus should be working to get a deal and leaving on 29 March”. 


At this point, whilst the clock continues ticking, Britain can only keep their fingers crossed that an agreement is reached on March 12th as a best case scenario. If not, the next best option would be a delayed EU-exit, given Labour’s recent support of a second referendum, nobody wants a no-deal Brexit.

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