Monday, 25 March, 2019


Brexit hangs in balance over tweaked deal

PM May,Theresa May,Prime Minister Theresa May British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech during her visit in Grimsby Lincolnshire Britain
Bennie Garza | 14 March, 2019, 22:24

First, a joint instrument with comparable legal weight to the withdrawal agreement will guarantee that the European Union can not act with the intent of applying the backstop indefinitely.

You may have read in the last day that she won a "revised deal" in Monday night talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, but all she really got was repeated assurances that no-one in the EU wants the crucial Irish backstop mechanism (explained here) to be permanent, leaving the United Kingdom indefinitely tied into a customs union with the EU if the two sides fail to strike a new trade agreement in the next couple years.

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Following a last-minute dash to Strasbourg, the prime minister said she had secured the alterations to the withdrawal agreement demanded by MPs after they overwhelmingly rejected her deal in January.

Other senior Eurosceptics, including the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, called for the meaningful vote to be delayed to give MPs more time to consider how to vote.

"That is what Parliament asked us to secure and that is what we have secured".

He described the texts as a "legally binding instrument on the Withdrawal Agreement and protocol on Northern Ireland and a joint statement to supplement the political declaration".

Samuel Tombs, the chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said on Twitter that it was "pretty clear" markets think Cox's legal advice didn't give enough cover for euroskeptic lawmakers to change tack.

The EU will have to agree to any extension to article 50 and the commission's secretary general, Martin Selmayr, told ambassadors on Monday that the safest delay to Brexit would only be up to 23 May, ensuring that elections to the European parliament would not create complications. The EU Commission said it would "expect a credible justification" for the postponement.

Nick Boles, a leading Conservative pushing the government to rule out a no-deal Brexit, warned May that she would "forfeit the confidence of the House of Commons" if she failed to put it to a vote.

On the legal opinion, Mr Dodds said: "We know from the Irish govt and from others what they see as the ultimate destination for Northern Ireland - the backstop is the bottom line".

Both lawmakers and the public remain split between backers of a clean break from the European Union and those who favor continuing a close relationship, either through a post-Brexit trade deal or by reversing the June 2016 decision to leave.

The advice echoes warnings from three of Britain's most senior experts in European and worldwide lawon behalf of the People's Vote campaign.

"It complicates the issue, it leaves us with the possibility still of a no-deal Brexit, and uncertainty over politics more generally".

If EU leaders say no to a short extension but yes to a longer extension MPs will then have to vote on the offer of a longer extension.

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