Brexit hangs in the balance: the British parliament has denied the loyalty of Premier Johnson. Johnson now wants to talk to the EU and continue with preparations for an unregulated exit.
After the crackdown on the Brexit forced by the British parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson must resume his talks with Brussels. He had announced that he wanted to call new elections if the EU had granted a further extension of the Brexit deadline until January 31 after a defeat for the vote. According to BBC information, this should continue to apply.
On Tuesday evening, European Council President Donald Tusk announced that he would recommend that the remaining 27 Member States comply with the request for an extension of time, also to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union unregulated. However, the heads of state and government of the EU have a voice. In all likelihood, Wednesday, the ambassadors of the EU of the remaining 27 states will discuss what should happen next, an EU diplomat said.
Johnson had already requested a postponement in a letter last Saturday under pressure from Parliament until the end of January 2020. It is almost certain that no regulated Brexit will be possible until October 31st. Instead, it could come to a new election in the UK in December and, depending on the election results, a new attempt by Johnson to bring his agreement to Parliament.
"Preparing for a result without bargain"
The British Prime Minister was disappointed that the lower house again voted for a delay. "We are now facing an even greater uncertainty," said Johnson. "The EU must now decide how to respond to Parliament's request to postpone, and the government must take the only responsible direction and accelerate our preparations for a result without agreements."
MEPs had previously cast their votes on Johnson's narrow Brexit agenda in one vote. A total of 322 MPs opposed the Johnson program and 308 were in favor.
Free way for legal package
Before the defeat, on Tuesday evening the parliament had approved in principle the legislative framework for the Brexit agreement, effectively paving the way for further debate on the legislative package. The deputies voted in a first vote for the package agreed between Johnson and the EU. After the second reading, 329 deputies voted to follow up the legislative package, 299 voted against, as announced by Parliament president John Bercow.
The content of the 110-page Brexit law package had become known to Members only on Monday night. Many MPs took longer. Further discussions are needed, not least on how to manage workers' rights, environmental regulations and above all the issue of a customs union and the related Northern Ireland problem.
The Johnson document states that Great Britain as a whole is leaving the customs union with the international community. Indeed, Northern Ireland would, to a large extent, remain bound by the trade agreements of the European Union. In principle, the agreement shifts the customs border south of the Irish island. This meets resistance from the Protestant Party of Northern Ireland DUP.
What are the options?
In addition to the new December elections, another Brexit without consequences with unforeseeable consequences would be another option. However, it is not clear whether this move would prevail before the British courts if Johnson really dared to respect his promise to leave by October 31st.
Furthermore, the possibility exists that the Labor party of the opposition and Johnsons Torys are still in agreement and find a solution within the extension period. A spokesman for Tusk said in Brussels that the deadline could be given as "flextension" – so it should not be exhausted until the end.
The next defeat
Johnson had suffered serious defeats only on Monday and the previous Saturday: Parliament president John Bercow refused to vote on Monday for the new Brexit agreement. He justified his refusal by stating that the content of the draft government was the same as that rejected on Saturday. The circumstances had not changed. Instead, the deputies voted to postpone the decision. They wanted to exclude a Brexit of chaos.
Finally, the prime minister had – at the behest of his parliament – reluctantly and unsignedly requested an extension of the withdrawal period until the end of January, which the EU states could approve.
More than three years ago, the British argued in favor of divorce from the international community with a limited margin.