Uncertainty reigns in latest Brexit developments
Friday, November 16, 2018
Heavy is the task for British Prime Minister Theresa May of the Conservative Party. She is trying to helm Brexit, a June 23, 2016, referendum that voters approved for the U.K. to exit the 28-member European Union, an economic and political partnership.
"The draft was the best that could be negotiated," May said of the brokered exit agreement struck with the EU.
This disagreement exceeded rhetoric. In fact, subsequent political developments cast no small measure of uncertainty over May’s office and Brexit. No sooner than she presented a draft agreement of Brexit with the EU than two ministers in her cabinet quit. Why? Consider this.
The Daily Beast is reporting that May’s draft agreement obliges the U.K. to "pay at least £39bn to the EU to cover its financial obligations, introduce a 21-month 'transition period' after Brexit which would keep the U.K. aligned with EU rules." Further, the draft calls for Northern Ireland to forge "a deeper relationship with the EU than the rest of Britain to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland."
Meanwhile, political uncertainty grew with additional ministers’ resignation over Brexit’s fate. That move roiled currency markets.
All things equal, a decline in the value of Britain’s national currency makes the price of its exports fall. That is good news for certain economic interests. For example, British exporters could benefit from such a change.
Back to U.K. politics, which is a part of — not apart from — economics.
According to Scottish National Party lawmaker Ian Blackford, "With ministers falling like dominoes, it's clear the prime minister lacks the confidence of her cabinet — and has no hope of commanding a majority in Parliament for her bad Brexit deal."
Will her ability to helm parliamentary approval for Brexit surmount such opposition? Perhaps May could benefit with the help of President Trump, according to Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner. The president’s penchant for volatile statements on and off Twitter, however, can polarize allies and foes alike.
"Ultimately, Trump has the opportunity here to support America's closest ally at a moment of its greatest need," according to Rogan. "For reasons of history and alliance, he should do so." Easy to say and not so easily done. Here is a part of the reason why.
If Trump charts that course of backing May’s Brexit deal, he would appear to weaken his nationalist sentiment stated ardently to supporters prior to the recent midterm elections in which the GOP retained Senate control but Democrats took the reins in the House. Shortly before the Nov. 6 vote, the president contrasted nationalism with globalism, with the latter a wrong-headed approach fashionable with Democrats who are unconcerned with the lives of Americans.
Politics makes strange bedfellows on both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps now more than in recent memory. Meanwhile, May’s Brexit deal, with or without Trump’s approval, is lurching forward.
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