Prime Minister brings ministers together in another crucial week for brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday called her ministers to a special meeting at the beginning of another week crucial to the brexit and the political future of the head of the Conservative government.
May will explain to ministers her strategy after the European Union agreed to delay the brexit from 29 March to 22 May, if Parliament approves the withdrawal agreement, or until 12 April if the pact is rejected, when the country will have to design an alternative plan.
In addition, at the end of the government meeting, he hopes to meet with Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corby, and then make a statement in the House of Commons to report on last week’s European Council.
The UK had the EU’s “divorce” date set for Friday, but was forced to ask for an extension after the agreement negotiated between London and Brussels was rejected twice – January and March – by MEPs and after the Commons were against leaving without any text.
The Prime Minister considered that she would re-submit her agreement to a third vote provided that there are prospects that she could pass the parliamentary procedure, but everything indicates that she does not have sufficient support for the text to be endorsed.
In this context of deep crisis, the deputies will debate today a motion of the government on the amendable brexit whose objective is to know possible alternatives to May’s plan.
Several Members have already tabled amendments, but it will be up to the President of the Commons, John Bercow, to decide which of these proposals will be put to the vote.
– Among them is a multi-party – backed by conservatives Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve and Labour Hilary Benn – which is asking for time to hold a series of “indicative votes” on Wednesday to find out what Members want and where the consensus resides in the lower house. If this proposal succeeds, it will be a blow to May’s authority because it will then be the deputies and not the government that take control of the brexit process.
Another amendment has been tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who rejects a brexit without agreement and calls on May to establish by Thursday how she intends to prevent the UK from leaving the EU on 12 April without any pact.
A third amendment corresponds to the Labour Party, the first of the British opposition, which is asking for time to be set aside so that the Commons can vote for alternative options to May’s plan, such as a customs union or a second referendum on the EU.
Another amendment has been presented by the group of Independent Deputies, which requests that the government take the necessary steps to prepare the country for a second plebiscite.
A fifth amendment is by Labour MP Margaret Beckket, who proposes delaying the brexit if the country moves to an exit without agreement seven days before 12 April.
Another proposal has been put forward by a number of Conservative Eurosceptic MEPs, who call on Parliament to reaffirm the commitment to comply with the 2016 referendum, which would mean leaving without an EU agreement.
A seventh amendment, supported by Liberal Democrats and independents, calls for a two-year delay in the brexit to hold a second referendum to decide whether the country should leave the EU under the agreement negotiated by May or remain a member of the European club.
The text negotiated by May was rejected mainly by the opposition of the Eurosceptic Conservatives and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.
In the two previous votes, the Democratic Unionist Party spoke out against its reservations about the Irish safeguard, designed to avoid a hard line between the two Irish.