A final Brexit deadline – until the next one?

The 27 other leaders of the EU offered the UK’s prime minister Theresa May, and she accepted, a new deadline of October 31, 2019 to pass a Brexit plan. She has told parliament that if they pass a plan earlier, they can withdraw earlier. She also had to face the humiliation of promising “sincere cooperation” while still in the EU and imploring the EU to ignore the threats from some of her backbenchers that while in the EU, they would disrupt its workings, threats that resulted in France urging language that would summarily expel Britain if they misbehaved. The French proposal was deemed to be illegal but that it was raised showed how fed up some countries are with the UK.

May is hoping that she can pass her Brexit plan before European elections are due to be held on May 23rd and thus not have to take part in them, though there seems to be little basis for her confidence. Taking part in those elections is an issue that infuriates hard core Brexiters,

May is planning to continue to talk with Labour party leaders on trying to arrive at a plan that can pass. It is not customary in the British parliamentary system for the government to include opposition parties in discussions prior to proposing legislation to arrive at a consensus, so this is unfamiliar territory. But now that she has done so, it is not clear why she has not included other key opposition players such as the Scottish National Party in the talks, as they have requested.


  1. says

    UK: I am leaving you!
    EU: OK, goodbye and godspeed to ya!
    UK: Seriously, I am leaving!
    EU: Yes, you said. I can live with it.
    UK: Aaany minute now, I am leaving! I am serious!
    EU: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
    UK: I am leaving! Stop holding me back, or there will be trouble!
    EU: What the ….???

  2. file thirteen says

    threats from some of her backbenchers that while in the EU, they would disrupt its workings

    It was a cunning move from Jacob Twodads, to threaten insurgent behaviour. Never mind that the Extremely Racist Gentlemen had previously claimed that they were powerless when it came to EU operations, the threat of political terrorism immediately damaged the EUs goodwill towards Britain and raised the chances of a no-deal. Now that’s Machiavellian.

  3. says

    Again, I’m not convinced that this is a good thing.

    I don’t think that the UK can come up with an exit plan. I’m convinced that if the UK does exit, it will do so without a deal. I’m further convinced that as bad as that would be, there would at least be an empirical test of the benefits of international cooperation and that not only could the UK intelligently consider what happened in evaluating whether or not they might want to reapply to join the EU, but that countries around the world could make use of the UK’s plight to prevent such mistakes in the future.

    I’m afraid that should small countries -- say certain Arabian emirates -- leave larger unions with customs and travel and immigration benefits, any negative outcomes would be written off as inapplicable to larger or richer or “more advanced” nations. If someone like the UK pulls this and it fails to benefit the country and/or harms it (as I think it obviously would) then such excuses that “X can’t happen here” become less convincing. (Though what do I know, probably any culture could convince themselves that the ways in which they’re different from the UK, whatever they are, are just exactly the differences necessary to make their move for isolation from other nations a good thing.)

    Also, if Brexit actually happens, it might just be possible that stupid voters learn that elections have consequences and when the question is whether or not you want to leave the EU, you vote on that, not on whether or not you want to tell the government they’re awful, which ain’t an option on the ballot and which you can do without a vote anyway.

    In short, I think that the UK is proving that it isn’t learning anything from the mistakes it has made, but I’m at least hopeful that if they suffer the full consequences of their mistakes that they may learn some lessons at that point -- both government and voters. And I’m further hopeful that other nations might learn something as well.

    In short, I’m probably an idiot.

  4. file thirteen says

    I think Labour will now claim they can’t agree with the government on any deal. It’s not in their interest to agree when a snap election gets more likely by the day.

    Then if Labour wins, they will be able to achieve whatever Brexit they want with cross-party support, because the alternative (horrendous to the Tories) is the referendum threat, or even repealing article 50.

    If the Tories won a snap election though, Labour would have to buckle and accept return of son of May’s living dead deal, in order to avoid being made the scapegoat for no-deal.

  5. file thirteen says

    And the reason the SNP are not invited to talks is that they are unashamedly pro-remain. All that time and money down the drain; remain is the Tories’ worst nightmare.

  6. fentex says

    file thirteen says: Then if Labour wins, they will be able to achieve whatever Brexit they want“”.

    This is a pointless hope -- Labour has no more of a coherent position than the Conservatives. Corbyn is a Leaver (always has been), he is not about to gather allies against Brexit.

    Without a coherent opposition to the essential policy, an election changes nothing. It is not a vote for or against Brexit. If it were then the UK would be in a much better position, with an option to be decisive.

    But they just don’t have that option -- Brexit is going to hurt the UK, some people are trying to minimise the harm but the Conservative’s include too many self-serving fools to manage it -- a problem Cameron failed to resolve with his idiotic referendum.

    The UK’s core problem is their system of elections -- they NEED proportional representation to sieve people into issues parties and make their elections sort these things out -- the two party duopoly of first past the post has elevated a cadre of idiots successful only for their internal party politics to power, to the countries detriment.

  7. file thirteen says

    @fentex #6

    This is a pointless hope — Labour has no more of a coherent position than the Conservatives. Corbyn is a Leaver (always has been), he is not about to gather allies against Brexit.

    Against Brexit? You didn’t understand what I wrote at all -- you are arguing against the opposite of what I said. Read it again.

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