The new British Government “is working with the assumption of a Brexit without agreement,” reiterated Michael Gove, responsible for exploring, if possible, a negotiation with Brussels but, above all, supervising the preparations for an exit from the EU. This was stated by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, during his inauguration and his deputy has ratified it in a platform published in The Sunday Times: “The no-deal (no agreement) is now a very real perspective.”
In a possible dress rehearsal for European elections later this month, British voters took out their frustrations on the two major parties in local elections on Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives got the worst of it, losing some 1,300 city councilors, and more than 40 councils, compared to their 2015 figures. Labour fared no better, dropping about 80 councilors, and losing control of a half-dozen city councils. For good measure, even pro-Brexit UKIP, big winners four years ago, lost almost all their seats Thursday night.
- On Wednesday, Parliament voted 313-312 to require Theresa May’s government to request another extension from Brussels, and avoid leaving the European Union without a deal. The UK is set to crash out next Friday if no agreement can be achieved.
- After numerous withdrawals and delays, Tuesday appears to be D-Day for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Her agreement with the European Union will almost certainly be defeated in the long-awaited “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons.
- Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition Labour Party, is expected to table a dramatic vote of no confidence in May’s government within hours of the expected defeat. If passed, it would force an early general election.
- Less than a week before the meaningful vote, May’s government suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Commons by a vote of 308-297. If May’s agreement goes down, she will be forced to present a new one within three days.
- Meanwhile, police have advised retailers to consider hiring extra security, should a no-deal Brexit lead to panic buying by consumers. Contingency planners are concerned disruption of ports caused by a hard Brexit could lead to shortages of goods.
- On the other side of the isle, in Thanet, reports of “Project Fear” are met with laughter by a population that can’t wait to get on with it. Put bluntly, one resident of the port town of Ramsgate said, “no deal is fine.”