For Britain, the New Year has not been able to shake off the old chaos and escalated tensions over the Brexit deal. In November, Prime Minister Theresa May got a widely-criticised Withdrawal Agreement approved by the European Union, which is yet to get a nod from the MPs.
The agreement had sparked political anarchy in the UK, and triggered a series of cabinet resignations. While only 84 days are left for the deal to conclude, the Withdrawal Agreement is stuck in the parliament, and May is still trying to rally support for her deal.
However, the politicians are demanding notable changes to the controversial backstop element in the Withdrawal Agreement. Many have speculated that the agreement negotiated by May with Brussels will be rejected by the MPs, which has intensified the fear of no-deal Brexit.
According to Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay, if the Withdrawal Agreement isrejected by the parliament, it is more likely that Britain would end up leaving the bloc without a deal.
In an article published in Daily Express on Thursday, Barclay urged the MPs to unite behind May’s plans ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote. “No deal will be far more likely if MPs reject the government’s Brexit deal later this month,” he wrote.
Barclay also acknowledged that May’s negotiated agreement is “not a perfect deal,” and that the Parliament is in a division over it. However, he said that it is the “best way to avoid no deal”.
On the other hand, a Brexit supporting economist claimed that even if the Withdrawal Agreement is rejected by the MPs, the European Union will agree to an “alternative” Brexit deal.
Speaking on Sky News, the Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit for the Institute of Economic Affairs, Shanker Singham said that if the parliament “vote against the Withdrawal Agreement,” it is likely that the EU and the UK will get indulge in “more political negotiation between now and March.”
According to Singham, even if the MPs “vote down the deal, an alternative Withdrawal Agreement is still possible.”
The politicians are expected to deliberate over May’s negotiated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement when they return to parliament next week, and are scheduled to vote on the Brexit deal on the week of the 14 January.
The clock is ticking fast, and the time for Britain to leave the European Union is drawing closer. Although the resistance from the parliament over the deal is evident, the Prime Minister is determined in pleading the MPs to back the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with Brussels.
In her New Year message, she said, “New Year is a time to look ahead and in 2019 the UK will start a new chapter.”
She said that the Brexit deal she secured “delivers on the vote of the British people” and that MPs “have an important decision to make” in the next few weeks. May said, “If Parliament backs a deal, Britain can turn a corner.”
As the Withdrawal Agreement is in a stagnant state, the concerns that the UK would drop out of the bloc without a deal are intensifying. While different individuals are making varied speculations over the deal, nothing can be believed to be accurate.
Considering the past deals in the international market, there is a possibility for both Britain and the EU to strike an unexpected as well as preferable Brexit deal at the last minute. If the deal is rejected by the MPs, the outcome can be expected to be something different from no-deal Brexit.