The British Parliament decides this afternoon whether to accept or reject a Brexit without agreement
The British Parliament is ready to vote late on Wednesday afternoon if it accepts a Brexit without an agreement on March 29, the official date set for the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, or if it rejects that option. Theresa May already announced on Tuesday that, given the importance of this decision, it would allow the conservative deputies – especially the members of their government – to vote freely and conscientiously. The government refused to impose the discipline of voting, although May herself has already announced that she will vote against a Brexit without an agreement.
It was the way to quell new internal rebellions, but the surprise has come through the amendments that will be incorporated into the text of the Executive. One of them, the so-called “Malthouse compromise”, a text forged between relevant Eurosceptics and conservative deputies in favor of staying in the EU, has caused a tough confrontation in May’s cabinet. The initial will of the prime minister was to order her ranks to vote against all the amendments, but several ministers have warned her of the popularity of the Eurosceptic text. If he ordered his rejection, he faced an embarrassing and humiliating parliamentary blow.
The text is an exercise in voluntarism -as much of the ideas that have emerged around Brexit- that proposes an extension of the transition period, a bilateral negotiation with the different European partners of new commercial relations and, finally, a Brexit without agreement. That is, the best of both worlds. Despite its lack of realism, the proposal calms many conservative consciences on both sides of the debate and gathers consensus in the party. Theresa May has chosen to let her fly, hoping that the sum total of parliamentary votes will defeat her.
Because right now, with the almost unanimous support of Labor deputies and a large part of the Conservatives, the option that has the best chance of getting ahead is to reject a Brexit without an agreement. That would open the doors to a second vote, this Thursday, in which the House of Commons would be asked if the Government should request the EU an extension on the date of departure.
The Government has put to work all its machinery to encourage the rejection of “no agreement”. The Minister of Economy, Philip Hammond, who presented his “spring report” on Tuesday, the quarterly forecasts of his department, has painted an optimistic outlook, a definitive end of the austerity period , provided that the United Kingdom be able to close the Brexit chapter in an orderly and agreed manner. “Leaving the EU without an agreement will mean a significant disturbance in the short and medium term, and a less prosperous economy in the long term: higher unemployment, lower salaries, higher prices in shops, that’s not what the people voted for British in 2016, “Hammond has warned.
Next to the somber predictions of Hammond before the threat of a Brexit without agreement, the British Government has published its forecasts in the matter of tariffs in the case that the 29 of March the United Kingdom leaves the EU to the brave ones. Although a transitory one-year mechanism is established that will raise 87% of these tariffs, the volume of this type of taxes is recharged in the importation of vehicles or food products, which has put the country’s bosses on the warpath . “These forecasts tell us all the bad things that a scenario of no agreement will bring us.We are talking about the biggest change in commercial terms that this country has faced since the mid-nineteenth century, and it has been imposed without consulting the companies or no time to prepare, this is not the way to govern a country “,