As Brexit looms, the people and politicians are still split. Many are for it. Also many are against it, and at this time the latter may come out victorious in this issue. In an interview with Andrew Marr, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that there are three things that anti-Brexiters need: the deal to breakdown, an extension, and a second referendum.
The negotiation period is drawing to a close with the deadline on March 29, 2019. Still, the proposed deals by British Prime Minister Theresa May has not been approved by parliament. This puts the country in danger of leaving the EU without any deals leading to what can only be imagined as turbulent times.
The Brexit deal is the terms of separation between Britain and the EU. This is vital as many businesses in Britain have working relationships with states in the EU. The proposed deals are supposed to, ideally, allow both parties a level of freedom in conducting business. This agreement or contract must be reached before the Brexit date of March 29, 2019. In an earlier vote, British parliament resoundingly voted no.
The reason in particular, among others, is the erection of a hard border in Northern Ireland. Now, the purpose of the deal is to allow a sense of free trade between the parties. Putting a hard border into that equation complicates the matter.
Northern Ireland has a long history with a physical border, and no one wants to bring that back. Especially since the border will not only be the dividing line between the two states but also between Britain and the EU, having a border for customs check in place there can lead to unnecessary friction.
Members of Parliament seems to be on the same page with that issue. At least in terms of the vote. The problem is a promise made by the prime minister back in January of 2017. The promise was to take the country out of the EU’s Single Market and the Customs Union. These are for the purposes of not being an EU “rule-taker,” and the freedom to create their own deals around the world. These, however, make hard borders pretty much a certainty.
Prime Minister May asked for the EU to help her sway MPs on their concerns with the deal. According to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell however: “It looks as though she’s bringing back the same deal so it looks as though we will have the same result and it will be thrown out.”
With the deal facing another rejection, one might ask what is next for Brexit? There are a few scenarios. One is that an extension can granted to negotiate for a better deal. For some critics, they see this as just a means to an end of not pushing through with Brexit. Still, what everyone is trying to achieve here is a good agreement on the separation between Britain and the EU.
It is entirely possible that Britain decides to go 180 degrees and revoke the decision without consulting the EU. That is not a good option though as experts agree that it will lead to significant political mayhem. If there is no agreed-upon deal by the 29th of March, Brexit is still likely to push forward. Only, it will be more troublesome for everyone.
Given that businesses in Britain have operations in EU member countries, they might revert to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. In order to counteract this, these businesses can choose to move portions of their operations to a different country. That, of course, comes at a high cost.
The two-year negotiation period is coming to a close and Brexit might be a bigger issue now than it was when it started. The Brexit deal is again set to be voted on, but it does not seem like anything will change. The best thing to hope for might be an extension to negotiate a better deal, but we either way we will find out at the end of the month.