Brexit: Is this the End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

Houses of Parliament

Image Credit: By Adrian Pingstone (talk · contribs) (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Just when it looked as if the Brexit confusion couldn’t get any worse, it has now been reported that it may be July before any further movement is made on the EU divorce plan.

Theresa May’s latest round of talks with the Remain rebels in the Conservatives have not bore fruit, and it appears as though the next Meaningful Vote could be yet another dead duck.

And tonight in the Commons, ministers will vote on a raft of amendments to the divorce bill, including one posed by Labour politician Yvette Cooper that would take No Deal off the table altogether.

The Prime Minister has thus been forced to offer ministers a three-month extension to the negotiations regarding Article 50, which means it could well into the summer before any progression is made.

The Tories are a party in freefall, with several key figures already leaving to join the Independent Group in the wake of allegations that the European Research Group, headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg, are pushing the party in a more extreme, right-wing direction.

And now it has been revealed that as many as 20 Conservative MPs had offered to resign in order to stop the government pushing through with a No Deal Brexit.

As it stands, May will deliver a further round of updates to the Leave bill to ministers in the coming weeks, with another Meaningful Vote – the so-called MV2 – coming in March.

Fail to pass that, and a vote will be offered that delays our exit from the European Union until July at the earliest.

Aleksandr Orlov - Meercat From Compare the MarketAs if a bad day for the Prime Minister couldn’t get any worse, she was the subject of contempt from many after using the TV catchphrase ‘simples’ in the House of Commons.

May was accused of ‘time wasting’ by Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, to which she replied ‘if he wants to end the uncertainty, then he should vote for a deal, simples’; aping the antics of Alexander the Meerkat on the Compare the Market adverts.

God help us all.

May Pleads for Patience in Daily Mail Thinkpiece

Not a media organisation known for its calm rationality, the Daily Mail has still let the Prime Minister pen her own column in the paper.

And in the opening paragraph, she sticks the boot into her fellow politicians by stating that:

I believe the United Kingdom remains firmly on course to leave the European Union with a deal – if MPs hold their nerve.

In the discussions I have had with the leadership of the European Union and the leaders of every EU member state, I have found a real determination to find a way through which allows the UK to leave with a deal.

That engagement has already begun to bear fruit. I firmly believe that a deal is within our grasp.

One such talking point has been the calamitous Irish backstop, which may well be scrapped altogether with EU officials set to be softening their stance.

A proposed trade deal could end the furore over the backstop, and that would give May a much improved chance of getting her Brexit proposals over the line.

The Full Cost of a No Deal Brexit Revealed

No Deal Brexit

Since this whole Brexit balderdash began, details about a No Deal Brexit have been sketchy at best.

What would it mean for people and businesses in the UK and Northern Ireland? Why has the government been so secretive over the costs and problems?

Well, that was revealed this week when Anna Soubry, an MP who left the Tories to join the Independent Group, had a Freedom of Information Act appeal granted for a government-led dossier to be published.

The details are rather stark, with the UK economy set for a 9% downturn and businesses in Northern Ireland going bust in a No Deal scenario.

Food prices would also increase – not aided by panic buying, and the ‘flow of goods’ through Dover – which presumably includes food and medicines – would be slowed down significantly.

The cost of many popular brands of cars imported from the EU would also be liable to a 10% price hike, according to the research.