Theresa May is gone & the EU refuses to entertain a new deal. What’s next for the UK?
Last month marked the end of Theresa May’s reign as the leader of Brexit, one characterized by countless hours in Brussels meticulously working out a deal with the EU. That now infamous deal, one agreed upon by the EU but repeatedly rejected by British parliament, will probably ever see the light of day thanks largely to the controversial Irish backstop.
May stepped down from her post on June 7 after failing to gain support for a new 10-part deal that turned out to be even less popular than her original proposals, mainly because it closely echoed the previous version. What was noteworthy, however, was her inclusion of the right to vote on a second referendum, which potentially could have given the public a chance to revote on Brexit — although she never explicitly said so. It also offered a vote on a customs arrangement with the EU after Brexit.
She gave an emotional speech in Downing Street expressing gratitude for being able to serve, but also regret at not bringing Brexit to fruition.
At the end of May, Nigel Farage’s populist Brexit party gave a strong performance in the European elections on the promise that the Brexit will happen with or without an agreement.
A new prime minister & a new deal?
EU leaders have stated that the proposed deal was the best and only option, so the question remains if they will even entertain a new offer from a new leader (EU President Jean-Claude Juncker says, “No!”).
The new conservative prime minister, who will be appointed in July, could either purposefully pursue a no-deal option, which would take effect October 31. Or, the PM could pursue a a new agreement and try to get the EU to renegotiate & then get MPs to approve it, something May was ultimately unable to achieve.
Ten conservative candidates are in the running to become the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister. All of them hold unique views for how to best manage Brexit, the defining topic of each of their campaigns. Some saw no-deal as the best outcome, others as a hollow threat.
If no new agreement is reached by October 31, a no-deal is the default result unless the EU agrees to move the deadline. While parliament rejected the possibility of a no-deal before, times have changed, and perhaps some would rather face a no-deal than continue on the merry-go-round of failed attempts.
On June 12, MPs blocked a vote that could have led to the prevention of a no-deal. Seemingly over night the chances for a Brexit to happen without an agreement in place multiplied.
Earlier this year, the HM Revenue and Customs department published a Transitional Simplified Procedures scheme to help ease the brunt of importation after a no deal. Over 90 percent of affected companies have not yet begun the application process. That figure suggests that British firms are simply not ready for the impending reality of a no-deal Brexit.
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