In June British Prime Minister Theresa May will undertake one more effort to receive the endorsement for her Brexit deal from the Westminster before the summer break, setting a new deadline for her exit from the EU plan and a potential timetable for her own departure.
Brexit had been due to take place on March 29, but May government was unable to get her departure deal (WA) approved by the House of Commons, which rejected the so-called Withdrawal Agreement (WA) three times. As a crisis response the EU offered delay to 31 October, an absolute deadline before the start of a new institutional cycle: from November onward the procedure of the appointment of new European commissioners should start. According to the EU Treaty the UK will be obliged to appoint a Commissioner to Brussels if it is still a member of the European Union by November 2019.
Conservative Party will demand a clear Brexit timetable for Prime Minister Theresa May’s departure plan but will not change the rules governing leadership challenge.
May survived a confidence vote in December last year and under the party’s rules cannot be challenged again for next 12 months. But many of the party’s lawmakers and members have become increasingly frustrated over her handling of Brexit and have called for a way to force her out sooner.
However the executive of the so-called 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, met on April 22-23 to discuss whether to change the leadership rules.
“We determined there should not be a rule change to remove the 12 month period of grace during which a second confidence vote cannot be held,” Graham Brady, the committee’s chair, told reporters after the meeting.
The idea of a second Brexit referendum is very likely to be voted again in Westminster although the government remains opposed to the second plebiscite on the same issue of leaving the European Union, the British finance minister said.
“I remain optimistic that over the next couple of months we will get a deal done,” he told reporters in Washington where he is attending meetings at the International Monetary Fund.
Philip Hammond said he hoped parliament would break the Brexit deadlock by passing a deal by the end of June, potentially ending the calls for a new referendum, and there was a “good chance” of a breakthrough in talks with the opposition Labour Party.
British Prime minister Theresa May asked for further delay of Brexit deadline to June 30, meaning the EU is facing a dilemma of the admittance of the UK in participation in the upcoming European elections (end May 2019). The prolongation beyond April 11 also indicates that Britons will imperatively participate in the European elections as the EU Treaty stipulates.
The European politicians have already expressed concerns about further delay negatives effects, which could lead to “hijacking” of the elections by Brexit crisis, creating a protracted situation of instability. An extension beyond delay, given already, could be granted on condition of endorsement of the Brexit deal only, previously the EU executives underlined. They have been cultivating an opinion within the EU institution, that any further delay without a clear purpose and schedule is not conducive to European agenda, blocking many significant developments within the EU27.
“No deal was never our desired nor intended scenario. No deal was never my intended scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely,” Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit top negotiator said addressing the even in the European Policy Centre Brussels think-tank. (Image above: illustration).
“Let’s not forget first that we have already an agreement, we have already a deal, and it was concluded by Theresa May and the British government and the European Council and European Parliament on November 25 last year, four months ago,” he said, putting the blame for the Brexit crisis on Westminster.
“If the UK parliament does not vote in favour of the withdrawal agreement in the coming days, then only two options would remain: leaving without an agreement or requesting a longer extension of the Article 50 period,” Barnier, reiterated the position of the EU institutions. “It would be the responsibility of the UK government to choose between these two options.”
Long extension would mean a participation in the European elections, and entering next political cycle withing the EU.
A junior minister in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government have reportedly collected 200 signatures from Conservative Members of Parliament for a letter calling for a ‘managed’ no-deal Brexit, ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston said.
“DExEU minister Chris Heaton-Harris… is said by several of his colleagues to have collected 200 Tory MP signatories on an old-fashioned paper letter… calling for what is frequently described as a “managed” no deal,” Peston informed.
Reflecting upon the third Westminster negative vote on the endorsed by the EU Article 50 Agreement, president of the European Council Donald Tusk calls for a Summit of the heads of states and governments in Brussels on April 10.
Earlier the same day on March 29 House of Commons have rejected Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement on the day the UK was due to leave the EU. The document has been negotiated for two years.
The government lost by 344 votes to 286, a margin of 58.
From now onward the European Commission prepares for no-deal Brexit.