Brexit: Only Corbyn and May in concert can make the needed compromises

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited the UK (January 10, 2019. 10 Downing St. photo. Some rights reserved)

A small group of British Tory MPs numbering around 120 representatives are decisively planning to send Britain to the cliff in a no-deal Brexit. Before last Xmas, they triggered an intraparty procedure to oust Prime Minister Theresa May from the party Presidency and consequently drive her out from 10 Downing Street. They were in minority and May survived. Out of the 317 Tory MPs, 117 voted against their leader. They could have predicted the outcome very easily. Obviously, those sworn Brexiteers just wanted to belittle the PM and her kind of soft Brexit Agreement on the EU Withdrawal.

Then, on Tuesday 15 January, a round number of 120 Conservative MPs again defied their leader. They joined the opposition deputies, including the Labour Party, and all of them together downvoted May’s soft Brexit proposal by 432 to 202. To be reminded, this is the only divorce accord the European Union has agreed upon, after two years of unrelenting negotiations. Brussels continue working on Britain’s exit from the Union on this text of 585 pages foreseeing the terms of UK’s withdrawal. Last December, this legally binding text was approved by the other 27 EU leaders. It’s very difficult, rather, impossible, to substantially amend it before the Brexit day of 29 March this year.

Chaos in London

But let’s return to the Commons, the UK Parliament. On Wednesday, 16 January, the Brexiteer Tory MPs didn’t join the major opposition party in its attempt to bring down the government. It was a Parliamentary motion of no-confidence against the PM, tabled the previous evening by the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. May’s administration was saved by 325 deputies rejecting Corby’s motion, with 306 supporting it. The winning majority included, of course, the 120 Tories, who one month earlier wanted to oust May from the Conservative Presidency and the Prime-ministership.

The Tory party, though, contains another important but much smaller group of deputies, who diametrically oppose their sworn Brexiteer colleagues. They are around ten and they support a friendly and soft Brexit in the least, if not altogether a revocation of Brexit. Ten days ago, together with all the opposition parties they passed an important amendment in Parliament.

A new Brexit deal

The aim of all those representatives was to avoid a catastrophic no-deal Brexit at all costs. To this end, 303 deputies from all parties, including the above mentioned small ‘remain’ Tory group, voted a new legislative amendment in Commons, against 296 Tories denying it. According to this new law, the government is obliged to table a new Brexit proposal in the very likely event that it be rejected, as actually happened last Tuesday. This amendment also foresees that this must be done within three working days. It’s is a clear endeavor to avoid no-deal Brexit, that most of the Tory MPs long for. Only one or two Labour MPs appear to be supporting a hard Brexit.

In short, the British party political system is not any more divided along the traditional left – right lines, but rather upon supporting a soft or hard Brexit option. Understandably, there is escalation of approach for and against no-deal Brexit on both sides. The hard Brexiteers, though, are to be found in the Tory ranks. This is a political group made up by extreme right-wing and nationalist conservatives. Many of them are advertising a new strong British global role, not necessarily as a supplement to the American hegemony.

Reviving the British Empire?

They advertise future bilateral trade agreements with all the major economic powers of the world. They refuse to see the negative signs shown by both the US and China. India has already rejected an exclusive trade deal with Britain. Regarding Japan, in the latest incident, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, told Theresa May in London last week that a no-deal Brexit has to be avoided at all costs. The most he could promise for after Brexit trade relations between UK and Japan was a possible British participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc. Last year, the Japanese ambassador to Britain said “the Japanese companies would have to leave Britain if trade barriers made them unprofitable”.

Yet, the Tory Brexiteers vie for a hostile divorce with the EU, despite the undeniable reality that the Union offers Britain the best possible trade options. There is no doubt that the hard Brexiteers’ narrative is a mixture of lies and some hard to swallow ridiculous revitalization of British world imperium ambitions.

Their hidden aims, though, are made of hopes to drastically degrade social protection, labour rights and environmental issues at home. A solitary Britain, having to compete in the open international markets, will be forced to compromise on all those fronts.

Back to the Commons

Coming back to what is now to follow, today, 21 January, May has to table a new Brexit proposal in Parliament. After a full debate in the legislative, the new proposal will be put to vote on 29 January. Major opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, says he may participate in the deliberations to form the new Brexit proposal, only if the Prime Minister rules out a no-deal divorce.

In case the Labour-Tory cooperation materializes, the next difficult part will be to secure the Brussels agreement. It is a herculean task to be accomplished in eight days. It’s about amending the 585 pages text of the Withdrawal Agreement, in a manner acceptable by the majority of the British MPs, the other 27 European countries plus the EU Parliament.

What next?

Given the insurmountable difficulties to conclude a solid new agreement in eight days, the only positive result from the present chaos could be that May accepts Corbyn’s condition and works towards a binding law in Parliament, ruling out no-deal Brexit. In such an event, the revocation, or at least, the deferral of the Brexit date well beyond the 29 March would be the only option.

Only some tens of unruly hard Brexiteers are likely to oppose this outlook, vying only for a hard, wild, no-deal exit. And the question remains, if this group of around 120 people will be able to impose their option on the entire UK. They will fail only if May and Corbyn decide just once to overcome their divide and save their country from catastrophe. Understandably, if this is the case, a softer and friendlier Brexit may finally come to pass. Only Corbyn and May together can make the needed compromises to secure a viable Brexit deal with Brussels.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

It’s a lie Eurozone isn’t competitive

Ukraine undecided over a strategic partnership with the EU

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

MEPs call for sanctions against Turkey over military operation in Syria

UN chief urges restraint following reported Saudi-led assault in Yemen

Progress against torture in Afghan detention centres, but Government needs to do more, says UN report

Opening – EP remembers Nelson Mandela and mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine

The Commission offers exit from the EU budget stalemate

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is the moment for climate justice”, Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström claims from Brussels

This is how music festivals are tackling plastic waste

UN human rights office urges Egypt to immediately release detained protestors

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

MEPs back EU partnership agreement with Armenia

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

MEPs back first EU management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

European Parliament gives green light to Christine Lagarde

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: The Digital Era: A New Business Frontier

Fleeing violence, Cameroonian refugee arrivals in Nigeria pass 30,000, reports UN refugee agency

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million

Tax revenues have reached a plateau

On Grexit: Incompetence just launched the historic Ultimatum that could open “pandora’s box”

Why is the EU launching a doomed policy in stopping immigrant waves? What are the real targets?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

‘Urgent need’ to stop Mali violence with ‘effective’ military response: UN expert

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

Migration crisis update: Greece could probably say goodbye to Schengen really soon

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

‘Transformational benefits’ of ending outdoor defecation: Why toilets matter

TTIP update: postponed vote and INTA meeting shuffle cards again

GSMA Reveals Shortlist For 2019 Asia Mobile Awards

Understanding of LGBT realities ‘non-existent’ in most countries, says UN expert

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

On our way to China

American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers

EU budget 2019 approved: focus on the young, innovation and migration

‘All efforts must be made’ to ensure peaceful elections for Guinea-Bissau, Security Council hears

Bullheaded Madrid authorities confront Catalonia with force

Convincing the Germans to pay also for the unification of Eurozone

CO2 emissions around the world

More than half of EU consumers have environmental impact in mind when shopping, new survey reveals

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis

Main results of EU Environment Council, 25/06/2018

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Do we judge robots on their colour? This study says we do

The European Parliament launches a website on European election results

‘Endemic’ sexual violence surging in South Sudan: UN human rights office

2019: An unpredictable, confrontational and financially ominous year

Online platforms: improving transparency and fairness for EU businesses

October’s EU strong digital mix: From Safe Harbour to Net Neutrality, Roaming and Snowden

UN health agency highlights lifestyle choices that can prevent onset of dementia, as millions more succumb each year

4 steps to developing responsible AI

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s