Everything seems to indicate that this month is a defining one for the Prime Minister who “will see clearer skies ahead, if she manages to survive” her party’s conference and the meeting with EU leaders. There is also the matter of a second referendum.
However, in the opinion of observers the problem of Brexit cannot be solved with fresh promises or a change of leadership.
So far, none of the dissatisfied groups have presented a candidate to replace May or a plan that convinces Britain’s European partners. What is more, it is unclear whether a new leader would be capable of dealing with the chaos that has been generated or finding better answers.
The truth is that with less than 200 days remaining before the UK’s departure from the EU, scheduled for March 29, 2019, discontent and uncertainty are growing in the country, as is the possibility of Theresa May’s removal and a second referendum.
Analysts differ in their opinions on how they see Brexit unfolding, but “uncertainty” is the word most often used in newspapers after Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, asked the British government to rethink and rework its proposals on essential issues for the signing of a final agreement.
The Polish politician insisted that the border with Ireland and the framework for economic cooperation – the most important and complicated topics – need to be reviewed and renegotiated.
Tusk indicated that October is the deadline for concluding an agreement on the divorce and an extraordinary summit will be convened in November only if the conditions are already set for formalising the agreement.
The strong rejection by the 27 of the strategy outlined by the British Prime Minister was considered a humiliation for May, who was deeply outraged, considering it unacceptable that the block had rejected the document without providing detailed explanations or counter-proposals. The text proposed by the conservative leader, known as the Checkers Plan, proposes the creation of a free trade area for goods, subject to a kind of common regulation that will keep the United Kingdom aligned with EU standards and regulations.
According to Tusk, this is not viable because it violates the operating principles of the bloc: which makes “a separation without agreement” increasingly likely.
May criticized the stance adopted by the bloc and insisted that she would not accept any agreement that threatens the integrity of the United Kingdom. However, the problem goes beyond differences with Brussels: Checkers is not only criticized by the bloc, but also Eurosceptic groups inside and outside the Conservative Party.
May faces an uncooperative EU, but with the ranks of her own party divided and disgruntled, she also faces opposition from within wielding a more defined and dangerous position.
As is known, the Labour Party, in its recent Annual Conference, approved a motion that rejects all agreements proposed by the Prime Minister and calls for early elections.
If elections are not held, Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters will support “all options that remain on the table, including the campaign for a second referendum on Brexit.”
Although it is not specified if the referendum should include the possibility of remaining in the community, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU indicated that this option cannot be ruled out.
For his part, Jeremy Corbyn said he accepted the decision of the affiliates, but did not clarify what his position would be in a possible vote on Brexit.
Although also divided, the Labour Party has the possibility to destabilise the Conservatives who do not have an absolute majority in parliament and are dependent on the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
As if that were not enough, around 50 Tories, members of the so-called European Research Group, consider May’s plan to leave the EU ineffective and believe that her resignation is necessary.
While some Conservatives say it is a mistake to interrupt the Prime Minister’s term, some sent letters to the leadership of the parliamentary party to express their disagreement with how the country was being led.
However, for a vote in favour of a change of government, May would have to resign or 15% of Tory MPs (48, in this case) would have to demand a vote of no confidence against her.
With this complex background, analysts believe it is tricky to make accurate forecasts about the future of the United Kingdom.
A mediocre, unfavourable agreement for Britain, a separation without agreement, the postponement of established deadlines, parliamentary revolt and a call for a general election, a second referendum on Brexit or the cancellation of the exit process – these are some of the possibilities.
According to the National Centre for Social Research in the United Kingdom, 52% of Britons would reject an exit from the EU if a second vote was held on the issue. And a poll by the firm YouGov indicates that 66% of Britons believe that the Conservative government is mismanaging the divorce from the EU. (PL)
(Translated by Nigel Conibear – DipTrans IoLET MCIL – firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay