Brexit: Theresa May Faces "Endless Day"


From Christmas, the return of Mary Poppins, with the actress Emily Blunt in the role of the most famous nanny in the world, is a British box office. Theresa May does not look like Mary Poppins at all. In fact, from her red leather suitcase printed with the emblem of Queen Elizabeth II – the cradle of official state documents – she has not issued any miraculous recipe. He tried the traditional "Piece of sugar that helps medicines flow" but the deputies were not deceived. Nothing in his plan B, which looks awfully like plan A, suggests that the British prime minister will be able to convince MPs to support her and to adopt the EU withdrawal agreement on January 29, at the next vote voted in Parliament.

After three days of discussions and a weekend of intense reflection, May claimed to have "Listened and listened" the reserves of the different parties. But she came to Parliament with the same agreement that earned her a stinging defeat last Tuesday, in fact the worst slap ever faced by a British prime minister in the House of Commons. She is "Behave as if you had lost your vote with 30 votes and not 230!" Labor MP Yvette Cooper has been killed again.

Infernal calendar

The tenant of 10 Downing Street has not spared the suspense. He quickly eliminated all the options required by the different factions of parliamentarians. No question of rejecting an exit from the EU without agreement. It is not a matter of taking into consideration the request to extend Article 50 to go beyond the deadline of 29 March. No question of considering your dismissal, which would mean "Stay in the EU". Regarding the possibility of a second referendum, the Prime Minister has once again recalled "Our duty is to apply the decision taken in the first [référendum]".The members then planned to submit a series of amendments during the week, which will actually propose these different scenarios. And it will be put to the vote on 29 January, the next crucial date of the calendar of the infernal Brexit. Only real surprise announcement, the prime minister has abolished the registration fees of European citizens for the famous "Status paid" this will allow them, after Brexit, to continue to live and work legally in the United Kingdom.

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May has essentially promised to consult mainly its troops, the most conservative "brexiters" gathered in the European Research Group (ERG) and in particular the deputies of the Union Democratic Party (DUP), the small unionist party in Northern Ireland which provides a majority to his government. He announced the intention to review the famous "backstop", the safety net provided in case of failure of negotiations on a future trade agreement. The support plans to maintain Northern Ireland in a customs union with the EU, to avoid the establishment of a border between Northern Ireland and the United States. 39; Ireland. However, the DUP and the more virulent brexiters firmly oppose it. They think this solution would cut Northern Ireland from the rest of the Kingdom.

"Deep denial"

The Prime Minister, however, excluded the reopening of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, signed in 1998, which put an end to the Thirty Years Civil War in Northern Ireland. "I never even considered it" she insisted. She will then present "The results of these discussions in the European Union". His decision to consult first and foremost the DUP to try to find out what could be acceptable for this small party gives the impression that May seeks above all to ensure his political survival. The DUP voted against the peace agreement in 1998 and for Brexit in 2016. The unionist party is not in tune with the people of Northern Ireland who voted in favor of the peace agreement 71% and 56% remain in the EU.

Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn accused May of being "In deep denial" and he judged his agreement "Absolutely impossible to overcome". The Labor leader still refuses to engage in discussions with the Prime Minister if he persists in his refusal to exclude the possibility of an exit from the EU without agreement. "It's an endless day" Corbyn complained.

May promised "Other consultations" with MEPs, in particular on the political declaration, the text accompanying the withdrawal agreement and outlines, vague, future relations between the UK and the EU. Basically, in exchange for the support of parliamentarians for the withdrawal agreement, which sets the conditions for its release, it promises to listen more to their opinions to trace the bonds of the future. The problem is that he asks parliamentarians to believe his word for listening. But few seem inclined, in his party or opposition. Labor Minister Hilary Benn ruled that the prime minister had "Perhaps his door is open, but his mind remains closed." May takes a new bet: 67 days of Brexit, relies on the pressure of time and panic to convince "Remainers" as the "Leavers" support, by default, its agreement. While he hopes the EU will also let go, once again, some ballast. I'm not sure who wins this last bet.

Correspondent Sonia Delesalle-Stolper in London



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