Britain’s Parliament will almost certainly vote to delay Brexit this week, but the European Union — which must give their assent to this course of action — is expected to extract a heavy price in return, potentially £1 billion a month.
The EU has long demanded a significant amount of British taxpayers’ money in return for the UK to leave the bloc essentially in name only, while still remaining inside its structures — a compromise the government hopes would satisfy both anti-Brexit politicians and the pro-Brexit public.
Two National Votes and 32 Months Later, Former PMs Call for Another One Year Brexit Delay https://t.co/ZXCAwEDmL2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 8, 2019
While British negotiators initially considered a ‘divorce settlement’ an important bargaining chip, the UK government agreed to pay the £39 billion sum early on, robbing the country of much-needed leverage. Now, the EU is reported to be preparing to demand significantly more, as well as other demands, in return for allowing Britain to delay Brexit day.
The Daily Telegraph reports sources that claim the bill could rise by as much as a third, and that even a short delay could add billions to the amount demanded by the EU.
The country is legally due to leave the EU on March 29th, but Britain’s political class opposes this.
‘Hard But Smart’ Brexit Would ‘Not Put British in Worse Position than EU’, Admit German Economists https://t.co/ZVzZImd2D8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 7, 2019
The Brexit process has now reached an impasse, where London has struck a bargain with Brussels on a departure deal that is both unpopular with British voters and that has been voted against by Britain’s Parliament, but it will not be modified or revisited in any way by European leaders.
It is even alleged that Brussels’ strict refusal to renegotiate has come at the suggestion of British political actors who do not want the country to leave at all, and see stalling negotiations as the best way to get the country to give up on Brexit.
While an obvious way to remove the country from this deadlock would be to walk away from both negotiations and the Union, unilaterally withdrawing the UK from the European Union, the majority of British MPs are staunch Remainers. And unfortunately for parliamentarians, leaving without a deal is the option most preferred by the voting public, as a recent poll has claimed.
Because of this refusal to countenance the possibility of walking away without a deal and executing the will of the British people, the nation’s negotiators have been effectively hobbled and forced into a position where, far from Theresa May’s once-stated position that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, it now appears to be Parliament’s position is that a bad deal is better than no deal.
May Warns if Parliament Rejects Her Brexit Betrayal Deal, UK May Never Leave EU https://t.co/19DRZYcY0V
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 8, 2019
Some MPs reject this position, including Brexit rebel George Eustice who said last week that negotiations had failed and that it was time to “act like an independent country” rather one that needed to constantly seek Europe’s permission to take action and walk away from the negotiating table. Eustice was a farming minister until last month, but resigned his position over his objections to the way the government was handling the Brexit process.
Fellow Brexit rebel and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed a similar sentiment Sunday when he said the government had to keep ‘no deal’ Brexit as a potential outcome to maintain credible negotiations, saying to act any other way would be “preposterous”.
Alluding to the fact that the promised votes on whether Parliament would again reject May’s Brexit deal and cancel no deal were believed to be on the verge of being taken off the table to prevent a government defeat, Johnson wrote: “If indeed that option is put to Parliament this week, the government must obviously whip against it, and the same goes for the absurd idea of extending Article 50.”
BoJo Calls to Reject Backstop and Brexit Delay, Keep No Deal on the Table https://t.co/sSEK3mCksf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 11, 2019
The government has since said it would be putting the Brexit deal to Parliament on Tuesday, despite the apparent failure to achieve any meaningful change to it means it will likely be defeated in Parliament again.
UKIP, the party whose emergence as an electoral force under the leadership of Nigel Farage during the 2014 European Elections was a main force behind David Cameron giving the British people a Brexit referendum, said these developments were merely the “final act of Mrs May’s Brexit betrayal”.
In a statement seen by Breitbart London Monday, the party said: “We are now entering the final act of Mrs May’s Brexit betrayal. Her so-called deal, which I described as a surrender document last year has no chance of being passed tomorrow. On Wednesday, Parliament will likely take WTO Brexit off the table, and on Thursday the House will vote to extend Article 50. The only question which remains is for how long.
“I suspect that they will vote to extend it until July, which is the full length of the mandates of existing UK MEPs. This would probably allow the government to avoid a European Parliament election in which they will be rubbed off the European electoral map. What happens after July is anyone’s guess, but the bottom line is that the political establishment is betraying Brexit and UKIP stands ready to fight for Brexit in any and all future elections.”
Whether the vote passes or fails Tuesday, Prime Minister May is facing renewed speculation about her leadership. If the government is defeated tomorrow, Labour could launch a vote of no confidence against May. Even if May survives, any move to extend Brexit beyond the end of March could be met by calls within the Conservative Party for her to consider her own position, The Times reports.
Theresa May has stuck to her line that voting against her deal could mean no Brexit at all — a position underlined by her foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt who said Sunday: “If you want to stop Brexit you only need to do three things: kill this deal, get an extension and then have a second referendum.
“Within three weeks people could have two of those three things and quite possibly the third one could be on the way through the Labour Party. We’re in very perilous waters.”