Once again the Brexit process in the British House of Commons has come to a halt. And so that recurring question in this three-year dossier is on the table again: what now?
First back to last night. A special vote in the British House of Commons: for the first time a majority agrees in principle to a Brexit deal. That success for Prime Minister Johnson is overshadowed a few minutes later by another vote. A majority of the parliament is opposed to the speed with which the legislation must be adopted.
The result is: the entire process has stopped and meeting the Brexit deadline of October 31 seems unfeasible. And that hurts with Prime Minister Johnson, since he has so often promised to meet that deadline at all costs. Remember his statement that he would rather “end up in a ditch” than go to Brussels to arrange a postponement.
In London, Johnson put the process on “pause”. Now it’s up to Brussels. Johnson had to – last week – against his will – ask the UK parliament to postpone the delay until 31 January. The EU countries are now considering that request. If they do not postpone, the United Kingdom will leave the EU without a deal on 31 October: a no deal brexit without agreements. But that is very unlikely.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, advises the EU countries to grant the delay. He would prefer to arrange that in the coming days, without organizing a special summit for it.
Following PM @BorisJohnson’s decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, and in order to avoid a no-deal #Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension. For this I will propose a written procedure.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 22, 2019
French President Macron said earlier that the previous postponement was really the last time and that there was little point in endlessly Brexit. The question is whether he or anyone else will really throw his ass at the crib. Then there should probably be a summit, and the other EU heads of government would not be happy with that.
Then there is also the question of how long the EU will postpone. A few weeks or months? In the letter that Johnson was to write from the British Parliament, a three-month delay was requested. The new brexit deadline would then be January 31, 2020.
That date is therefore often mentioned in Brussels. But a compromise is also being considered.
“A flexible delay where the end date would be January 31, but it can be arranged sooner if the UK is out earlier.”
Once the EU has made a decision, it is the UK’s turn again. What can we expect?
With a short or flexible delay, Johnson can also decide to try to get his deal through parliament. Johnson will not accept a delay for months, reports the BBC based on a source within 10 Downing Street. In that case, the prime minister would like to hold new elections, he called in the House of Commons yesterday. That does not immediately mean that new elections are coming.
The longer the Brexit process takes, the more hope some Britons get that there is still a chance of cancellation. That would go through a new referendum, and that will not happen as long as the Conservative Party is in power. Then there must be elections, Labor must include a new referendum in the election manifesto and become the largest The latter is unlikely in view of the polls. It will be a delay, not a cancellation.