Brexit looks set to be the biggest non-election political betting even market ever
Scotland’s external affairs and culture secretary said it was welcome the UK government had finally bowed to pressure and scrapped the £65 registration fee for EU citizens who wanted to stay, but added that it should never have been introduced. She said this does not change the fact that EU citizens should not be asked to apply simply to retain the rights that they already have to live, work and study in Scotland. This has caused real anxiety for EU citizens in Scotland, who contribute so much to our economy and society.
Theresa May’s Plan B was bluntly ruled out by European leaders today just hours before she stood up to announce it to MPs. Dublin delivered a firm “No” to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop. And the vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas being hastily floated as ways of defusing the Brexit deal: one being to remove the backstop from the EU agreement and replace it with an Anglo-Irish treaty; the other being to rewrite the Good Friday agreement that underpins the peace process. The triple-No to Mrs May followed a weekend of political confusion as ministers argued over how best to break the deadlock in Parliament and backbenchers plotted openly to seize the reins.
Reality, as I progressively found out, was less pretty. The EU coopted too many too quickly, and made too many “in-but-not-totally-in” concessions. As shown in the EU Members List, Denmark and Sweden keep their own currency (in both cases the krona, same name but not the same), as do Hungary (the forint) and Poland (the zloty). This shows a lack of what jurists felicitously call affectio societatis: “the common will of several legal persons or legal entities to merge into one entity.”
Brexit can be described using a “submarine out of cheese” analogy, believes Harvard Professor Yascha Mounk. The lecturer on Government at Harvard University also commented on how the British media and political class have “closed their eyes” to the “predictable mess” that’s occurred over the last two years. Mr Mounk told France 24: “It’s a strange thing in politics where it can seem for a long time fundamental laws of logic don’t apply. So for years you can go on as if it didn’t apply and people start to believe that the laws of logic don’t apply, and then suddenly they all come home to roost.
A trio of shadow cabinet members piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn by saying the party must stick by its pledge to “campaign for a public vote” if the prime minister holds firm and Labour fails to force a general election.
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said backing for a Final Say referendum was the only “remaining option” if Labour’s own withdrawal plan is defeated, adding: “That is a very important commitment. And it is one we will keep.”
Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, echoed the view, saying: “If she refuses a general election and to change her deal, then of course our policy is that we will go for a people’s vote.”
And Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, speaking at the same conference, told a questioner urging quicker support for a referendum: “I am tempted to go there with you.”
Theresa May’s plans to forge a Brexit Plan B that she can take to the Commons on Monday were dealt a serious blow after one of her closest European allies warned the existing deal could not be “tweaked”. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte cast serious doubts over whether Mrs May would be able to change the existing withdrawal agreement to present it to MPs next week. Mrs May will spend the weekend trying to patch together a fresh deal to present to MPs on Monday. Such is her difficulty in finding a compromise that satisfies enough MPs to get a deal through Parliament, that Government sources have suggested she could announce an extension to Article 50 at least until July. Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/brexit/theresa-may-struggling-to-find-a-plan-b-may-delay-brexit-until-july-her-toxic-option/