Brexit Update: UK Parliament Takes Control of Brexit
Another blow for Prime Minister May in Parliament yesterday. A majority of 329 over 302 MPs voted for an amendment giving Parliament more influence on what happens if May’s deal is not approved this week. If the deal is indeed not approved, the UK has until April 12 to propose an alternative deal to the EU.
Parliament Goes for Plan B
The amendment gives Parliament the power to create their own Plan B. It can now decide to hold a new referendum or make a deal with the EU similar to the one Norway has and enter into a Customs Union with the EU. They could also decide to go for a no deal Brexit.
May has already told Parliament that she is against the UK joining a Customs Union, as the Guardian reports:
Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, asks if May is ruling out negotiating the UK joining a customs union with the EU.
May says there are a number of questions that MPs need to address. What rules would the UK abide by? Would it have to abide by state aid rules? Would it have to accept free movement? She says her manifesto ruled out a customs union. She thinks it is very important for the UK to be able to strike its own trade deals.
One of the ministers that quit right after the amendment was approved has told a member of the press that a soft Brexit or a second vote would likely be supported by a majority of the MPs.
Brine said he believed the prime minister’s deal was still “best of the options” but said that Conservative colleagues should realise “anything from here, as far as they are concerned, gets softer in terms of Brexit”.
Brine said all outcomes were on the table. “You have to accept that a second referendum or revoking article 50 are on the table because they will probably be some options,”
Read the full story here.
In the meantime the Washington Post reports that the EU is ready for a no-deal Brexit, but that the UK isn’t:
“The E.U. is clearly more prepared for a no-deal outcome, with planning underway since December 2017 and the rolling publication of detailed contingency measures,” added Sloat, formerly deputy assistant secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs in the Obama administration’s State Department. “Although the E.U. had fewer issues to address, it was more realistic about a potential no-deal outcome and has made the necessary preparations.”
Read more here.
The BBC reports that EU is intensifying talks with Ireland about a no-deal situation:
The EU and Republic of Ireland are “intensifying” discussions about the Irish border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, senior EU officials have said.
On Monday, the European Commission said it believed a no-deal outcome was now looking increasingly likely.
The EU said it would expect the UK to “live up to its commitments to avoiding a hard border”.
Read more here. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47694783
The Guardian also gives an overview of what the media are saying about the MPs taking control of Brexit. Read it here: ‘Stuck in the muddle with EU’: what the papers say about MPs taking control of Brexit.
We will keep you updated on any further Brexit developments.