The Strategist

May is playing for time before Brexit vote

02/13/2019 - 11:54

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to wait until the last moment before putting her Brexit deal to a vote in parliament, after which she will force British politicians to choose between her plan and a potentially very long delay, writes Bloomberg.

EU2017EE via flickr
EU2017EE via flickr
That’s how Brexit’s chief negotiator Oliver Robbins described future events around the exit from the EU, a British television channel reported, explaining that one of his journalists heard Robbins discussing the plan on Monday evening in a Brussels bar.

This message may undermine efforts of the British Prime Minister, who is seeking enough political support to carry out her plan through parliament.

In January, during a vote in the House of Commons, 432 deputies voted against the original Brexit bill. Only 202 parliamentarians spoke in support of the document.

Last week, May went to Brussels to persuade European Union leaders to adopt legally binding changes to the part of the Brexit agreement that concerns the Irish border.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told May during the negotiations that the EU would not reconsider the Brexit deal.

May hoped that changes to the Brexit agreement would help guide the document through the UK parliament. According to sources from The Telegraph, the Prime Minister decided to postpone the second vote on Brexit in parliament until the end of February.

Meanwhile, according to current agreements, the UK should leave the EU on March 29, regardless of whether the parliament approves the deal or not.

On Tuesday, May spent two and a half hours urging members of the House of Commons to give her more time to discuss better conditions with the EU.

“Negotiations are at a crucial stage,” May said to Parliament. “Now we all need to remain calm in order to receive the changes that the House of Commons requires, and to conduct Brexit in time.”

Prime Minister faced accusations that she is purposely playing for time to force the parliament to support her Brexit plan under the threat of a chaotic exit from the EU without a deal.

According to ITV News, Robbins has provided some evidence that May’s plan is really to get parliament to vote a few days before Brexit.