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Ed's Brexit round-up - what now?

5th Apr 2019 / By Ed Barker

You would have to have lived on a cave on Mars to have been oblivious to what has happened on all things Brexit this week – and given that we are genuinely running out of every deadline going, it seems we have a bit of movement, or something interesting anyway.

EdBarkerNPALast Friday, the Government lost its ‘3rd’ meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement – by a lower amount than the previous two votes but still a notable gap all the same. With many Brexiteers and the DUP stating that they are not happy with it and aren’t for turning, the PM this week reached the conclusion that many of her advisers and Cabinet have been saying for some time: they will never be pleased and therefore she had to change tack. On top of this, Monday delivered a series of ‘indicative’ votes, where MPs continued to vote on their preferences on the whole process. Only for all key votes to be voted against- some closer than others (such as a Customs Union), but all against all the same.

As a result of all this a mammoth Cabinet meeting on Tuesday saw the PM’s new strategy: engage the Opposition. It seems odd that a minority Government never thought to do this sooner, but then again persistence is one of the PM’s virtues (?) In the last two days, meetings have taken place with the Labour Party and other opposition parties, though it is unclear where they have gone. What we do know is that given this unprecedented say over the Brexit process, Labour are unsure as to what their red lines are – should it be to hold another, confirmatory vote? A General Election? A Customs Union? Needless to say, the Remainer and Brexiteer factions within the party are now having that discussion. But one thing we can be sure of is that it will make the Brexit process a softer one. Odd that Brexiteers had leaving the EU ready and waiting for them and now they have a much worse outcome looking at them directly.

Well what now? The UK on track to leave the EU by April 12th (the new date set by the EU) – this date is important as after that, EU countries have to make formal declarations for EU Parliamentary elections, something that the UK is unlikely to want to participate in. Despite this, the PM is pushing for a 30th June extension – so the two seem to be at odds with each other. The EU view is either have a short extension to get the WA through or have a much longer extension to decide what you want and avoid a series of short extensions being rolled over. To support this EU has now openly offered a 12 month (yes really) extension to Brexit with the option of cutting it short if something can be agreed in the meantime. That could be 4 years since the vote.

I know you have really read this not for Brexit but for Grand National tips. Don’t go for SingleFarmPayment (29, 50/1) becuase if you win then you’ll get your winnings a year late and even then you’ll only receive half of it. Elsewhere, I like The Young Master and Jury Duty.