This week could arguably be the most important for the UK in the 21st century. Prime Minister May is off to Brussels on Wednesday afternoon to speak to the EU leaders about the Brexit deal. Already this week, there has been talk from the EU side that they are not expecting a great success from the discussions, as Mrs May continues her line of “its my deal or no deal”. Regardless of Mrs May’s phrasing, it is absolutely vital that she listens to the will of the people, and that means listening to the Brexit campaigners. The EU were always going to be difficult when it came to this awkward divorce, as the UK has been a pinnacle force of the institution for over 40 years. Nevertheless, it is becoming clearer than ever that if the PM does not either radically change her Chequers Plan, or ignore attempts for a Norway-style deal with the EU, then she will be ousted by her Conservative colleagues in a heartbeat!
In September, Theresa May gave a stern warning to the EU in a brief speech at Downing Street. Undoubtedly, her credibility and popularity increased a vast amount afterwards, but only for a small period of time. In the speech she said that the “the UK stands ready” to unlock the chaos of the current talks. Unsurprisingly, the EU has acted as an absolute disgrace in the whole 18 months of the negotiations process. The corrupt institution has failed to give any decent proposals to the UK regarding the Northern Ireland border, or about the future economic relationship. Therefore, it is time for the Prime Minister to stand up and show to the world that the UK will never be bullied into a situation.
Before she travels to Brussels, the usual Wednesday midday session of PMQ’s kicked off, and Mrs May told parliament that she wanted the UK’s new relationship with the EU to be ready by January 1st 2021, which is when the so-called “transition period” is meant to finish. Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, launched an attack on the Prime Minister saying “the Conservatives have been fighting amongst themselves for the last 2 years” and said they must put the interests of the country first.
Labour are openly ready for government, and the six questions about Brexit from Jeremy Corbyn demonstrated that his party are clearly preparing to step into government roles if the PM fails and take over negotiations. Although there is no real discussion of a General Election, it would almost certainly have to occur if Theresa May’s government fails to get either or both the Autumn budget or the Brexit deal through parliament.
Despite the UK government and political situation seeming chaotic, the EU’s situation is not much better. There is confusion amongst the 27 member states about the exact progress of the negotiations. Michel Barnier and Donald Tusk, two hugely influential people in the negotiations, are worried about the lack of progress in the negotiations. This has made some member states, particularly Ireland, worried and encouraging a push for preparations of a no deal. Ireland’s call for no deal preparations is absolutely right, and essential for both the UK and EU to survive if there is a no deal. Moreover, Theresa May must tell EU leaders in Brussels that the UK can and will walk away from the negotiations if they refuse to co-operate.
There are multiple outcomes from the summit being held in Brussels. The most likely result is that neither side will say anything concrete apart from the need to push forward for a Brexit deal by the end of 2018. The challenge for the EU’s negotiators is to encourage a deal that will satisfy the needs of all 27 member states.
Obviously, this is unbelievably difficult because of the difference in socio-economic development between western and eastern Europe. Mrs May has to be prepared to stand against these 27 countries and demand the best for her nation. She is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and she will receive an unexpected popularity boost if she says that no-deal is the most likely outcome unless the EU radically changes its position.
The ideal situation for Brexiteers is for the EU to propose a Canada style deal that allows for a free trade agreement whilst being free from EU legislation and that has a solution to the Northern Irish border. Mrs May is undeniably stuck in the mud; knowing that her Chequers’ deal is hated, and that a no-deal would be very unlikely to get through parliament. Nevertheless, a no-deal prospect would be popular amongst Conservative MP’s and members, and they are the people that matter for Mrs May’s job security.
Unfortunately, it appears as if Mrs May is going to make yet more concessions in order to reach a deal, but this will not be approved through parliament. Reading this article or any of the press must beg the question as to whether it is even possible to reach a sensible deal and get it through parliament. It is time for Theresa to stand up for Britain and show the EU that she is not prepared to ruin the fantastic opportunity Brexit gives us. In doing so, the 52% that voted Brexit will be fully supportive and she can lead this country away from the undemocratic incompetency of the EU.
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