Brexit crisis could lead May to abandon unwanted plan

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
Istanbul
Published 11.05.2019 00:03

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is being belittled from all sides as she plans to go ahead with a new deal that could leave both sides unsatisfied. Members of Parliament could be given the chance for alternatives to Brexit they would like to see in an order of preference, and the option gathering the majority would, in theory, have to go forward.

A source in the U.K. Cabinet compared this approach with a scene from the television sitcom "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet," in which the characters are voting on what color they'd like to paint a shed they just constructed, and because nobody agrees they take a vote with multiple preferences; however two of them wrote down "yellow" as their second choice as a joke which turned out to be the only majority, leaving nobody satisfied with the outcome. "So there is an issue with a ranking system, as it comes with the inherent danger that you end up with a result that no one wanted," the cabinet member concluded.

Many predict that the two-party system in Britain is in danger of fracturing as the indecisiveness of the country exiting the European Union has made not just Labour, but the governing Conservatives especially unpopular. Meanwhile, third parties are either suffering crises of identity or are separating into different parties, siphoning votes off of each other, the most prominent example of which is the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) and the Brexit Party.

The French are also continuing to play hardball with Britain. France opposes "repeated extensions" for Britain's exit from the European Union, a presidential official said Friday, keeping to the hard line of Paris on Brexit. France does not want to enter into "a cycle of Brexit summits" following this month's European Parliament elections which Britain will take part in after the deadline for its departure from the bloc was extended to the end of October, the official said. The official, who asked not to be named, added that London should "have a solution before Oct. 31" when Britain is due to leave the EU. "The European elections could create a political shock that ends in a bipartisan agreement before June 30," the official said. "But if the situation is not clarified before Oct. 31, as the new commission is taking its place, we are not going to have a cycle of Brexit summits."

France under President Emmanuel Macron has shown increasing impatience with Brexit, worrying that the confusion is distracting from the EU's wider ambitions. This has brought Paris into a rare conflict with its traditional EU ally Berlin which has generally pressed for a more tolerant approach on Brexit.

EU leaders, not including Britain, revealed a broad-brush statement of principles to guide them into the post-Brexit future at a summit in Romania on Thursday, promising a "new Union at 27 ready to embrace its future as one." As the ongoing negotiations seem to be fracturing the British political system, many elements within the country insist that the referendum should be cancelled entirely and that the U.K. should remain with the EU as if nothing's happened.

One such party are the Liberal Democrats, who were visited Friday by Belgian Member of the European Parliament and prominent Eurocrat Guy Verhofstadt, coordinator and chair of the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group. He was joined by the LibDems' Vince Cable as the

party's message of "Bollocks to Brexit" was the rallying cry behind the gathering. Cable hopes to take votes away from Labour on the May 23rd EU Parliamentary elections, specifically targeting pro-EU voters.

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