Following the British parliament’s rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the EU Council President, Donald Tusk, has told the country to stay in the bloc.
“If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” the top EU official wrote on Twitter.
Frans Timmermans, the deputy head of the European Commission, EU’s executive arm, also advised the UK remain in the EU. Quoting British author CS Lewis he said: “We can’t go back and change the beginning, but we can start where we are and change the ending.”
Prime Minister May suffered a major political defeat after the parliament overwhelmingly voted against the Brexit deal. She lost the vote by 432 to 202, with 118 Conservative MPs rejection the deal negotiated with the EU. Sensing the opportunity, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a vote of no confidence in May’s government, a move that could end her premiership after just two and a half years in office.
According to the critics of the deal, May’s agreement will keep Britain subject to the jurisdiction of EU-run courts. Under the terms of the current EU membership, regulations imposed by Brussels dictate country’s trade, customs, and immigration laws. The British exit from the EU, in keeping with the outcome of the 2016 referendum, was suppose to change all that. May’s deal will “strangle British sovereignty and reduce us to a craven vassal state,” commentator Brendan O’Neill noted recently in The Spectator.
If London and Brussels fail to renegotiate the deal before the March 29 deadline, the country will leave the EU without an agreement on the terms of trade. In case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK can continue to trade with the 27 member bloc in line with the pre-existing norms of international trade set up by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
If the no-deal scenario comes into effect, the EU will forfeit the $47 billion “divorce bill” slapped by its negotiators, a UK parliamentary report said.
Following the last night’s vote, the EU elite and the mainstream European media are running a fear campaign, painting a horror scenario in case of a no-deal Brexit. “If an agreement is not reached [before the March deadline], it will lead to the withdrawal without a deal with the union. In such a case, one must recon with chaotic outcome for the economy and other areas of life,” the leading German newspaper Die Welt declared. (Read here for Legal Insurrection’s take on a possible no-deal Brexit: Is UK Heading for a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit? December 21, 2018)
“The EU should prepare for the worst,” declared the German weekly Der Spiegel, “One should have no illusions: a segment of British lawmakers are fundamentalists, who are pursuing the Brexit almost with religious fervor.” The magazine complained that “the majority of the MPs, who are actually Brexit-skeptics, cannot come together without splitting their own parties and risking the anger of the voters incited by the [pro-]Brexit press.”
“Perhaps, Britain must undergo the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit in order to come to its senses,” Der Spiegel concluded.
“Island of Losers,” read the headline in the German weekly Die Zeit. “The British exit will cause great damage to the EU. But the community is united like seldom before.”
German state media mocked the British government and parliament. “Britain’s political institutions have shown that they are not up to facing the challenges,” Deutsche Welle commented. “Brexit is likely the country’s greatest disaster.”
With President Donald Trump in the White House, the European political elite are fearful of losing a powerful member state to Brexit. “But it’s by no means assured that Europe will survive Britain’s departure,” the former German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned on Tuesday. Adding that “Europe’s role in the world will be damaged in a way we can’t yet imagine. We’re getting a little foretaste in Washington, where the U.S. government wants to downgrade the EU’s diplomatic status.”
Given Brussels’ track record, one can not rule of an intrigue to keep Britian in the EU at this stage. According to the former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, the British government is setting the stage for a second referendum. “I think and I fear we are headed on a path towards delays and probably a second vote,” he told Sky News. “I fear we will get an extension of Article 50 and what you will hear is voices in Westminster pushing for a second referendum.”
Will the EU and the British establishment dare to steal the verdict handed down following the biggest democratic exercise held in the Island Nation’s history? Committing this day-light robbery to keep the British people subservient to an unelected elite in Brussels will not secure the continued existence of the EU. Holding the proud and defiant British people against their wishes will only hasten the bloc’s demise.
[Cover image via YouTube] [Excerpts from the German media reports translated by the author]DONATE
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