Brexit is creeping ever closer, and it it still seems as though there is much work to be done if the deadline of March 29th is ever going to be reached without the prospect of a ‘no deal’ scenario. In short, the UK is set to leave the European Union, at present, on March 29th. However, MPs have yet to vote on a deal which they feel will be appropriate for the country to lead into. This, at the moment, leaves the very possibility of ‘no deal’ on the table. That, ultimately, would mean the UK is effectively fending for itself without a safety net from the EU.
Prime Minister Theresa May has been hit with a further blow this week as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has moved to prevent her from requesting that her proposed deal for Brexit is brought to the table for a third vote. It has appeared in recent weeks that the PM’s strategy has been to try and push her vision for Brexit through the Houses of Parliament in lieu of a ‘no deal’ situation. However, Bercow has used his own Parliamentary powers to block a third vote.
Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers new blow [video: Al Jazeera]
Bercow has done so in an effort to encourage there to be substantial changes to be made to May’s deal before it can be voted on again. The move has been described as ‘shocking’ by some sources, though the Speaker has remained resolute. “If the government was to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same, nor substantially the same as disposed of by 12 March, this would be entirely in order,” he advised.
However, this now leaves May and her allies in a tight situation. May is thought to be considering appealing to the EU for an extension to Brexit while voting and negotiation continues. The EU, however, is reportedly considering only offering an extension on certain grounds. Such grounds, it has been suggested, could include the proposal of a second Brexit referendum. However, many government allies have been strongly opposed to such an option.
March 29th approaches ever closer – and with May’s Brexit deal remaining unpopular with many sitting MPs, it is still unclear as to whether or not the UK will be leaving without a clear plan on that date. As always, we will keep you informed with regard to what to expect.
'Order, order!': The very best of John Bercow [video: ODN]