The UK was set to exit the European Union this March 29th, but with “No Deal” on the table that both the EU and the UK’s parliament can agree on, the reasonable option was to extend the exit deadline, which the UK parliament has voted 412 to 202 in favor. Now, the EU has to agree on the extension as well.
The UK parliament voted in favor of the extension a day after it voted against a “No Deal” Brexit, and two days after rejecting May’s Brexit deal for the second time. The first time when May’s deal for Brexit was rejected back in January, the 202 to 432 margin not only represented how parliament felt about the deal, but also represented the largest defeat for a British government in modern history.
The EU, nor the MPs in UK’s parliament want to be the one responsible for the probable chaos unleashed with a UK hard exit or No Deal exit, as speculations are that a no deal would mean shortages of necessities like medication, prices surges of imported goods, border deadlocks, expatriates and students both in the UK and EU suddenly in visa limbo, to higher roaming charges for mobile phones, says the BBC.
However, a delay also means political capitulation for the pro-Brexits. The whole idea of Brexit was to exalt British independence from the mainland and from Brussels. Delaying the exit because the UK needs a deal from the EU clearly sends a message that’s not so independent. As a CNN’s analysis piece wrote:
“Only two things of late have carried a majority among lawmakers: opposing a no-deal Brexit and delaying Brexit, which both sound distinctly un-Brexity”.
The EU members will most likely be deciding on the “Brextension” during the European Council summit starting March 21st.
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted that any postponement “should be complete before the European elections” at the end of May, because if not, the UK will be required to be part of the vote in the European parliamentary elections, during May 23rd to 26th. Something that’s more than awkward for both the EU commission and UK government.
The Brexit impasse seems to be another catch-22 situation where the conditions just won’t allow for a decision free of concession, but, can the a messy breakup between the UK – EU mean an opportunity for a new thriving affair?
US president Donald Trump seems optimistic about a post Brexit deal, as Bloomberg headlines:
“Trump Says He ‘Looks Forward’ to U.K. Trade Deal Post Brexit”
Donald Trump tweeted:
“My Administration looks forward to negotiating a large scale Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. The potential is unlimited!”
The words “large scale” seems to be the giveaway of what kind of Brexit Trump is expecting.