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Brexit Update: A Breakthrough Or Delay Tactics?

The United Kingdom was almost heard collectively groaning as Minister Theresa May announced last night that her thrice-defeated Brexit deal…

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27 Mar 2019

Brexit Delayed As Parliament Begins Series Of Indicative Votes

It’s anyone’s guess what is happening just two days before Britain expected to be leaving the EU. Theresa May shelved the idea of a third vote on her immensely unpopular deal after being pressurized by MPs to allow them to take over the process.

Despite calls for her immediate resignation, May is not budging from office although this morning it was revealed that some of her backbenchers may be prepared to pass her deal if the Prime Minister stands down.

Following a request by Prime Minister Theresa May, the European Council agreed on Thursday 21 March to extend the UK’s departure date to 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by the end of this week at the latest.

There is absolutely no way of predicting the outcome of this week and so for the people of Britain, we continue to “watch this space”.

MPs are set to vote on seven Brexit options. Here are what they are and what each means:

Revoke Article 50: Article 50 is the clause which triggered the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and gave the country two years to negotiate an exit deal. A petition to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit passed five million signatures over the weekend. The prime minister responded by saying: “I do not believe we should be revoking Article 50.”

Second Referendum: A second referendum would see the decision-making taken back to the public for a final vote on the Brexit deal. Campaigners called for the public to get behind a People’s Vote march through London this weekend, demanding that voters are given a choice. Over one million people from both Remain and Brexit camps attended the peaceful protest in a resounding display of public opinion.

PM’s Deal: MPs are expected to vote for a third time on the prime minister’s deal next week, which has twice been rejected by Parliament. EU leaders have granted Theresa May’s request to delay Brexit, on the condition that her deal is passed by next week. According to Sky News, Downing Street is in “panic mode” and fears Mrs May’s deal could be voted down for a third time.

PM’s Deal with Customs Union: Another option is a softer version of the prime minister’s deal, which would see the UK remain within the customs union. This means goods can pass between the UK and the EU without checks or duties, but there will still be a tariff for non-EU goods.

PM’s Deal with Customs Union and Single Market Access: This option would also include access to the single market – the European trade bloc which guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour. The prime minister previously said that ending free movement and allowing only skilled workers to come to the UK were among her top priorities.

Standard Free Trade Agreement: A free trade agreement would see the UK accepting a Norway-style deal. Members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – which include Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – have access to the single market and limited EU trade barriers, but are not in the customs union. Last Monday, the government said it had secured an agreement which meant trade can continue unchanged with Norway and Iceland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

No-deal Brexit: This final option would leave the UK with no agreements in place for what the future relationship will look like. The country would be forced to make its own arrangements with others outside the European Union. News reports claimed last week that the armed forces have activated a team in a nuclear-proof bunker under the Ministry of Defence as the government prepares for a potential no-deal Brexit.

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