Theresa May’s no-deal/deal went down by a 344 – 286 margin. Did her latest defeat signal three strikes and she’s out – her coup de grace of no return?
Britain has until April 12 to crash out of the EU with no deal or remain a bloc member, abandoning Brexit sine die, MPs strongly rejecting the former option.
Ahead of Friday’s vote, May offered to resign if MPs backed her no-deal/deal. As things now stand, she’ll likely either step down voluntarily or be pushed in the coming days, her tenure as prime minister since July 2016 pockmarked with failure.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn called for new elections, stressing Britain won’t leave the EU without an acceptable deal, adding if May refuses to accept that, she has to go.
She called the implications of her third defeat “grave,” saying Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on April 12, adding she’ll continue pressing for an “orderly Brexit” – a notion she opposed all along without admitting it publicly as prime minister.
Other MPs called Brexit dead, wanting Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty revoked, stating:
“1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”
“2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”
“That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.”
“3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”
“4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.”
“A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.”
“5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.”
In January 2017, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled against fast-tracking Brexit, saying “the government cannot trigger Article 50 without Parliament authorizing that course.” It’s for MPs to decide, not the PM or UK voters.
So far, MPs rejected eight variations of May’s no-deal/deal this week. On Monday, they’ll vote perhaps for the last time on still another alternative.
Before Friday’s vote, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow ruled that May could not call for a third vote without substantially changing her plan.
She split her no-deal/deal apart. Friday’s vote was on a transition period post-Brexit if occurs. Omitted for a future vote was the hard part – a declaration on Britain’s relationship with the EU if it leaves the bloc.
Her strategy let her circumvent Bercow’s ruling, accomplishing nothing else. Losing for the third time likely drove the final stake into Brexit.
Only its obituary remains to be written, along with postmortems about nearly three wasted years of parliamentary debates and negotiations with Brussels.
May’s days as prime minister are numbered. She and Brexit are doomed – the latter long before Friday’s vote.
Note: If majority MPs have a change of heart on Monday, agreeing to accept May’s deal after all, perhaps with minor changes, it’ll still be a no-deal/deal.
It’ll amount to Britain pretending to leave the bloc – doing it in name only, not in fact.
No wonder, millions of Brits, a likely majority, are fed up with what’s gone on, wanting either a new referendum or revoking Article 50, abandoning Brexit altogether.
I’ve favored a hard Brexit all along, a clean break, walking away and not looking back. Disruption would likely be much less severe than Brexit opponents claim, along with being relatively short-term.
Britain is a leading European country. Others on the continent surely want current economic, financial, and trade relations maintained. It’s mutually beneficial to all European nations to have things this way.
A year post-hard Brexit if occurs, Britain’s relationship with EU member states would likely be much the same as now.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.