The Next Phase of the Brexit Saga Kicks Off

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The results of last week’s elections in United Kingdom proved to be decisive. The British government now has a clear majority, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to guide the nation out of the European Union once and for all. Brexit, after years of false starts, and ceaseless bickering, appears to be inevitable. Finally.

The European Union’s part in the election results cannot be overlooked. Mistakes were made at the worst possible moments. Ruling out a Brexit extension will likely go down as the biggest error. Had Brussels been more flexible in this regard, the uncertainty and political chaos that ensued in London could’ve been avoided. Both sides likely would have come to an agreement each could live with and have moved on by now. The decision by some EU leaders to collude with Remain elements in British society, and politics was a gross miscalculation which only helped undermined the Tory and Labour reelection prospects. There was never a realistic chance of a second Brexit referendum happening, yet some EU leaders were not to be deterred and pushed for it. The results made obvious last week. The EU should have made every effort to help Theresa May get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament instead. May’s agreement was far from perfect, but it offered the likelihood of a prosperous, and amicable EU-UK coexistence in the post-Brexit era.

Now, the EU is left trying to figure out exactly what it wants from a new bilateral relationship with Great Britain. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has not been healthy for the EU and unless the transition period is smooth, this will not change. The upcoming trade negotiations will tell a lot about the EU’s inflection and offer hints as to whether or not Brussels intends to be part of the problem, or the solution.

EU Election Aftermath: Great Britain

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Across Europe, governments are now contending with the domestic fallout, and consequences of the 2019 EU Parliamentary elections. For some national leaders, and governments the election results were favorable, but for some of the largest nations on the continent the EU election results have brought on fear, and uncertainty about the future. The after-effects have brought on a reckoning of sorts in some cases. Great Britain is certainly one of these nation-states, but it is not the only one.

Britain was not even supposed to take part in the past weekend’s elections. Its separation from the EU was scheduled to have happened by now. As we all are aware, that departure is now unlikely to take place before October, 2019. The government’s failure to abide by the original timeline was on the minds of many as they cast their ballots. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, barely six weeks old, was the big winner, taking 31.6 percent of the vote. Britain’s two major political parties, Labour and the Conservatives suffered humiliating defeats. These parties now find themselves in the unenviable position of having to redefine themselves in order to remain relevant in post-Brexit British politics.

In short, Labour and Conservatives both need to become pro-Brexit parties. Regardless of what the polls say, the majority of Britons still want Brexit, even if the majority of politicians in both parties don’t. It became apparent to many Britons that Theresa May, and many Members of Parliament were doing everything possible to prevent Brexit from happening. Whether or not this is the case is a moot point. Because of the mainstream politicians dithering, and delaying, Nigel Farage came out of nowhere with a political party solely committed to making Brexit a reality, and thrashed Labour and the Conservatives.

Now, with the Conservatives preparing to select Theresa May’s successor, the resumes of prospective candidates will be scrutinized carefully. No politician who was lukewarm, or hesitant about Brexit stands a chance of taking over at 10 Downing St. The separation of Great Britain from the European Union has to happen at the end of October, or if at all possible sooner. Otherwise, the Brexit party might be there to pick up the pieces and steer Britain in a direction no one is ready for.

In the next entry we will look at the nations of Western Europe.

Brexit’s Day of Decision Looms

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The fate of Brexit Withdrawal Agreement crafted by Theresa May and her European Union counterparts will be decided when the House of Commons votes on it Tuesday. The end result of tomorrow’s vote is not expected to favor May and the government. Opposition to the deal has not softened since May called off the vote last month. She could postpone the vote again if she wishes too, however, such a move would not help her cause at this point. She has staked the future of the government, as well as her own political future, on Tuesday’s outcome. If it goes in her favor, May will enjoy a major victory and walk away with a large amount of political capital in her pocket. Should the more likely opposite result come about, May will have to take her medicine, so to speak, and accept the results of the vote, and the consequences it brings about.

Those possible consequences are what have many Britons on edge at the moment. May’s government could collapse. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to file a no-confidence motion after the vote is held. This move could potentially bring about a new general election, though the chances of it going so far are small. Other potential scenarios include a new Brexit referendum, a disorderly UK withdrawal from the EU, or a complete scrapping of the Brexit process. May can also try for another vote in the future, although this step should be avoided entirely as it would drop the British political system, and economy into a extended period of uncertainty that neither can afford to weather.

The Brexit crisis in Britain at the moment represents a point where contemporary global political trends have clashed. Populism, protectionism, and nationalism squaring off against globalism and pluralism in a contest that has created a stalemate closely resembling the Western Front in World War I. Whatever comes about following tomorrow’s vote will have a lasting impact on the United Kingdom, and the European Union. This much is certain.