British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a confidence vote from her Conservative party, but more than a third of her own political family said she was no longer the right leader to implement Britain’s exit from the European Union.
After two hours of voting in the House of Commons, Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, said 200 Conservative lawmakers had voted in support of May as leader, and 117 against, open about the fact of her party was bitterly divided over the direction.
The outcome gave a glimpse of hope for an orderly Brexit procedure, endorsed by both parties: the EU27 and the UK.
However the news was not met with much of enthusiasm by the Brexiteers, predicting that the deal will not pass, and the major crisis is looming.
The EU27 leaders will meet in the framework of Summit on December 13 to discuss the situation around Brexit, and latest developments in the UK.
“We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario“, informed Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.
The EU leaders relentlessly repeat there will be no Article 50 deal re-negotiation, however they are willing to “facilitate” the UK ratification of the Agreement.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, confronted with a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party, said any new leader would have to extend the March 29 deadline for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
“A new leader wouldn’t be in place by January 21 legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in Parliament,” May said.
“A new leader wouldn’t have time to re-negotiate a withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through Parliament by March 29, so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it,” May announced.
Former British minister Owen Paterson informed he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May in the hope of triggering a leadership challenge.
“I write to inform you that I no longer have confidence in the Prime Minister,” Member of Parliament declared in a letter to the senior lawmaker who would oversee any leadership challenge.
“It would be a travesty if the democratic verdict of the 2016 referendum – the largest in British history – were not delivered, yet the Prime Minister’s proposed ‘deal’ is so bad that it cannot be considered anything other than a betrayal of clear manifesto promises.”
The letter was published in the Telegraph newspaper, and on MP Owen Twitter micro blog.
A new report from academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe explains what trading on WTO terms would really mean.
“Parliament has begun perhaps its most important peace-time deliberation. A lot of MPs are claiming that trading with the EU on WTO terms would be an acceptable outcome. The report investigates this claim and underlines that trading on WTO terms would be highly damaging to UK trade with the EU and other countries” said professor Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe.
The report shows: No WTO member trades on WTO terms only – they all have agreements with other countries, especially their nearest neighbours.
- It’s often said we trade with the US on WTO terms. In reality, we have more than 100 separate bilateral agreements with them
- WTO terms are relatively comprehensive on goods but far less so on services-( 45% of UK exports). Barriers to trade in services in particular will increase substantially under WTO terms
- If we traded under WTO terms, barriers would be inevitable between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- The UK would also lose the free trade agreements the EU has signed with other countries
- Gains from a zero-tariff policy would be nil or limited for more than half of the goods the UK imports
- The UK is already a member of the WTO so would not have to apply, although it will have to re-negotiate its commitments
There is also a long version of the report, What would ‘trading on WTO terms’ mean for the UK?, which was written by Catherine Barnard, Katy Hayward, David Henig, Holger Hestermeyer, Emilija Leinarte, Sam Lowe, Steve Peers, and Peter Ungphakorn.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to pay visit to European leaders, and European Commission, seeking flexibility to introduce changes to her Brexit deal in a crucial attempt to save it, after postponing a vote that she admitted would fail to approve the deal. (Image above: illustration).
There is a clear interest of the EU to support May in her attempt to save the deal, because ‘hard’ Brexit without agreement would equally hit both EU27 and the UK, furthermore it would significantly add to unpopularity of the bloc, blamed rigidity and incapacity to serve people’s interest, saving jobs, while prioritising ideological concept of Four freedoms over daily life of people.
AMENDED: At her arrival to Brussels EU Council building (around 5PM Brussels time), Prime minister May did not stop for a ‘doorstep’ comments for press, but swiftly passed to the meeting rooms.
Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed a the vote on Article 50 deal in House of Commons, admitting there is obstacle on the way to implement the scheduled steps of departure.
May’s decision on the eve of the scheduled parliamentary vote leaves the leadership on crossroads, with two major contrasting scenarios ahead: leaving the EU under WTO rules without an deal with former members of the EU bloc, or the second referendum on EU membership. May’s own position could be in jeopardy, which encourages the opposition parties to call her to resign.
May said she has not changed her indention to put her negotiated Brexit deal for approval of the members of parliament. But she would first ask the EU for more “reassurances” over the main architecture: a “backstop” to ensure no hard border on the island of Ireland, which is characterized by the critics as a trap to indefinitely abide to the EU rules.
AMENDED: Nigel Farage, (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament said that he experienced the postponing of the vote in House of Commons as “national humiliation“, and added he is sure in the EU “they are laughing at us“.