The Bank of England has made public the conclusion that the country's GDP would be higher if the United Kingdom chose to remain in the European Union. The gloomy forecasts of the economic slowdown in any version of the Brexit sounded in these days by a series of other financial structures. The unfortunate conclusions of the experts further complicate the efforts of Premier Theresa May, who, after the approval by the EU leaders of the UK exit agreement, is actively trying to "sell" it to the his countrymen.
The situation is in fact stalled: the vote in the House of Commons of the British Parliament on the basis of the agreement on the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union will take place on December 11th, and there is no certainty that it will pass . Meanwhile, this vote is called the most important of all, which took place in the Palace of Westminster in recent decades. At the same time, the fate of Prime Minister Theresa May is the most insignificant, depending on the wishes of the deputies. It concerns the destiny of Brexit as such. After all, if the British deputies do not approve this agreement, Brexit will turn into an embarrassment of universal proportions not only for May and the entire British establishment, but also for the European Union, which, as we say in the European Commission, will enter a period of even greater disconnection and uncertainty.
What are the positions of the parties? The first point of reference is the position of the European Commission: Brussels does not intend to discuss any other divorce agreement, except for the one already approved in the last EU summit. Although it is in fact a declaration of intent, without offering a concrete solution to any of the many problems. However, this is an approved starting position.
On the other hand, there are British MPs. Most of them are not taken into consideration by May to "put aside all differences and listen to voters who are fed up with Brexit and want to move on". The conservative party in power holds 318 deputies out of 650 in the House of Commons. At the same time, the Democratic Unionist Union of Northern Ireland (DUP) with its 10 deputies represents a very fragile majority for conservatives. And the first one that threatens to vote against the divorce agreement is this DUP, since the party is extremely upset by the effective conservation for an indefinite period of open borders between two Ireland.
But it's not so bad. According to the Guardian, 94 members of the same party, May, will vote against the treaty approved by the EU summit. And many of them have already submitted personal questions of distrust to the prime minister. The most savage Eurosceptics in the conservative camp believe that May has yielded too many positions to the European Union. And insist on his resignation, believing that the new head of the conservative government will be able to conclude an agreement with the EU that will remove "all chains" from Britain and only the rules of the WTO will be applied in the its relations with the EU.
There are even four ministers in the current government who have already discussed secretly Plan B. It should be activated if MEPs refuse to support the treaty with the European Union. Plan B provides UK relations with the EU in the kind that Norway, which is not part of it, has with the union. These relations are determined by the rules of the European Economic Area, created in 1994 and allowing countries that are not members of the EU to participate in the internal market of the European Union. The secretary of the Labor party meeting with Nick Bowles maintains that plan B is supported by the leaders of three opposition parties simultaneously and that this option can be collected by a parliamentary majority.
But all this, again, is based on the position of the European Commission, or rather on its refusal to resume negotiations on the elaboration of a new treaty.
To the opponents of the treaty with the EU approved in Brussels, we must, of course, add the largest Labor party of the opposition, which controls 262 seats in parliament. Its leader, Jeremy Corbin, spoke about the treaty promoted by Theresa May, almost offensive: "This is the result of a miserable failure in the negotiations, which leaves us with the worst that can be seen in this world and in the next world." And his party partner, the former prime minister Tony Blair, has asked to block the treaty "May Name" and to hold it, "it's not too late", a second referendum, believing that its result will be very different from the result of the 2016 referendum.
Yet Teresa May has a joker, even if controversial. If, in the first round of the British parliament, the agreement is not approved, then, according to the regulations, it has the opportunity to bring it to a second vote. Although in this case, May will be forced to submit an application to the European Union with the request to agree on some "minor" amendments. And how insignificant they seem to Brussels is the question. So the bet on it is very risky.
Therefore, in the coming days, Teresa May should be very, very convincing. For what will be successful, it will become clear on December 11th.
The author is an expert of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.