Following the recent rejection of the Withdrawal Bill element of Mrs May’s BREXIT deal (meaningful vote 2.5), talks have been ongoing with Labour to find a way forward. Nothing has come of this so far and one could summise that Mrs May really just needed to go to the EU summit on 10 April with something positive to say and in the absence of parliament passing the deal, ongoing talks would have to do.
At the summit in Brussels on 10 April, the EU booted the can right down the road, striking out the 12 April No Deal deadline, with the new deadline now set for 31 October, or Halloween.
As a result, it looks as though the UK will have to take part in the EU elections between 23 and 25 May, as failure to do so would see us leaving with No Deal on 1 June. So, in the next few weeks the UK government has to:
- Try to get somewhere with Labour to find a consensus and maybe proposed changes to the Political Declaration (remembering the EU have already said the Withdrawal Agreement itself deal remains non negotiable)
- Prepare the country for meaningless EU elections on 23 May, which will inevitably see the mainstream parties slaughtered
- Look at yet another attempt to get Mrs May’s deal through parliament, which could still see BREXIT on 23 May
With, so much to do, guess what? Parliament has broken for an Easter recess and will not sit again until 23 April! Work will be going on in the background, but for another week we all get a break from BREXIT.
Perhaps MPs will return after Easter with a new perspective and just get on with passing the deal. Somehow I doubt it. We are in for a long ride – Happy Halloween!!
Martin Gibbs is Dafferns Managing Partner. He likes talking about BREXIT and is looking forward to Easter. Any political views in this post are his own.