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An Update on Brexit
Mar 14, 2019 at 02:48 PM
Photo by Maurice

The Quick Facts

  • With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, this week held several key votes by the British Parliament concerning the U.K.’s planned departure.
  • First, after Prime Minister Theresa May secured another vote on the Brexit deal she negotiated, her plan suffered a second defeat.
  • Then yesterday, Parliament voted 321-278 against a no-deal Brexit, committing the country to staying in the European Union until a divorce deal is ratified.
  • Today, Parliament will be voting on whether to ask the E.U. to delay the Brexit deadline, which is currently set for March 29th. It looks likely that the MPs will vote in favor of the delay.
  • May has proposed an extension until June 30th — but only if she can get Parliament to back her Brexit deal with a third attempt by March 20th. If it is defeated again, the U.K. may have to ask for an even longer extension, which would require approval from all 27 remaining EU member countries.

Food For Thought

Should the U.K. vote to delay the approaching Brexit deadline? What is Britain’s best course forward at this point?

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The Guardian

Theresa May’s Brexit: pause it and rethink

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This editorial from The Guardian offers these sorts of perspectives:

  • Theresa May is hoping that Parliament will delay Brexit for a few months, so that she can then “offer the Commons a choice between her retweaked deal and a chaotic no-deal Brexit.” This will ultimately be an unwise strategy to pursue, because “it is unclear what will be achieved in another two months.”
  • What should happen insead is MP’s should vote for a longer delay than May wants, at least through October. This would be practical, and it would offer “relief to UK businesses suffering from the current uncertainty.”
  • A longer delay is needed so that the UK can “contemplate what Brexit means for this country, rather than being hustled out of the door by a Conservative party on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” To implement Brexit in the right way, the UK needs better politics, and Theresa May should ask Europe for more time to get there.

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The Irish Times

Brexit: Indecision and political paralysis

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This editorial from The Irish Times expresses these types of views:

  • The latest defeat of Theresa May’s proposals in Parliament illustrate how the country is still completely paralyzed by Brexit. The Conservative government has been “completely unable to map a credible way forward,” and their “extraordinary lack of political leadership has now created enormous uncertainty and risk.”
  • Now, the UK is running out of time, even if they manage to get the EU to agree to a delay. “The issue remains that a no-deal exit – even if voted against in the Commons – is precisely what will happen, sooner or later, unless another way forward is agreed.”
  • This would be bad for Ireland, because there has yet to be an agreement reached on the issue of the Irish Border. Thanks to terrible leadership, the UK is hurtling toward a no-deal Brexit, and “the North will suffer hugely.”

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The Local France

Having a second Brexit referendum is the only way 'to take back control'

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In this commentary from The Local France, Sue Wilson includes these types of opinions:

  • The original Brexit referendum should be considered invalid, because electoral rules were broken by politicians pushing Brexit. It should not be considered the “will of the people.”
  • Now that Brexit has been revealed as “complete and utter madness,” the British public should have the option to vote again. “Theresa May’s current version of Brexit bears no resemblance to what Farage, Johnson, Gove and others led voters to expect.”
  • Another referendum has become necessary, and it must be “conducted in a fair, honest and legal way.” Now that it's obvious how unrealistic the fantasy version of Brexit truly is, the U.K. will likely find “it’s no longer what the majority wants.”

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The Washington Post

Britain must swallow the hard realities of Brexit — or leave the choice to voters

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This Washington Post editorial makes these sorts of points:

  • There are some tough realities that come with Brexit, including “heavy costs for the British economy and the imperative to preserve an open border with E.U. member Ireland.” This week, the British Parliament proved once again that they are unable to swallow these hard realities.
  • The Brexit impasse in the U.K. is the result of a “broad failure of political leadership” by Theresa May. She might have been able to put together a centrist majority to support a good Brexit deal, but was unable to because she was never “willing to spurn the Conservative Party hard-liners,” a gambit that has not paid off.
  • This time, May might have lost enough support to force a general election, which could be good if it “produces a government that had the backing to push through a Brexit accord.” The central challenge now, especially if there is a new election, is “overcoming the demagoguery of those who insist, against all evidence, that Britain can make a clean break with the continent while simultaneously preserving its economic health.”

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