In a nutshell, ‘To deliver in Brussels, the UK must compromise – but to deliver in Parliament, the UK cannot compromise in Brussels.’ Now, its time for Boris Johnson to face the magic with his Brexit deal.
- EU declared support for Britain’s ‘rush-hour’ PM Boris Johnson’s ‘great’ new Brexit Deal. European.
- PM Boris Johnson now needs the support from the UK Parliament to get on with his election pledge of Brexit by October 31st.
- However, main opposition Labour Party leader James Corbyn and the unionist Northern Irish DUP have opposed Johnson’s new draft.
- Corbyn has said the deal ‘won’t bring the country together’ whereas DUP has apprehensions about the consent and custom issues.
European leaders gathered in Brussels for the EU Summit. EU declared support for Britain’s ‘rush-hour’ PM Boris Johnson’s ‘great’ new Brexit Deal. European Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker also reiterated the message. He called the new draft a ‘fair and balanced agreement’ for the EU and the UK.
British PM Johnson said that the ‘great’ new deal ‘takes back control’ for the UK but opposition is calling it a sell out deal.
Juncker said the deal is a testament to the EU’s commitment to finding solutions. However, he chose to not shed more adjectives than fair and balance. Johnson sounded much more enthusiastic. The British PM said the new deal ‘takes back control’. It will help the UK move forward to other issues like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime, and our environment. But in actuality, that’s hardly the case
Instead, PM Johnson’s last-minute deal is a work of political incompetence. It stems from months of child’s play going on for months. Johnson flirted with a ‘No Deal Brexit’ and a convoluted ‘multi-border plan’ before. He then reverted to a more realistic approach closer to the plan envisioned by his successor PM Theresa May.
EU with Johnson’s Deal, but who’s with and against back home?
It’s ironic because Johnson rejected May’s plan in the first place. But that was fed by his personal political ambitions and skepticism about the European Union’s socialistic trade structure. However, what PM May was quick to grasp has come strikingly late for PM Johnson.
EU is clearly hoping that Johnson’s deal materializes and the drama comes to an end.
He recommended the EUCO endorse the deal in a personal letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. The EUCO will sit later in the day on Johnson’s Brexit Deal at the EU Summit.
However, back at home Johnson’s ‘great’ deal looks blighted by staunch opposition. Leader of the main opposition Labour Party in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn called on lawmakers to reject the draft. Corbyn said it ‘won’t bring the country together’. Corbyn is adamant on his stance that the best way forward is through a public referendum.
Can Johnson cross the finish line without Unionist Support?
Similar is the stance of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose support will be critical for Johnson to get his version of Brexit affirms in the House of Commons. In a statement before Johnson’s announcement, DUP said that it remained opposed to the deal’, and reiterated that it ‘could not support customs and consent issues, as well as sales tax arrangements’.
Johnson’s deal is different from May’s. It swaps the border “backstop” for a four-year customs alignment between the EU and Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland would be in the UK customs territory legally but practically in the EU customs unions. The Irish Stormont power-sharing assembly of nationalists and unionists can vote to extend or end the alignment after four years.
Johnson’s new deal means that Northern Ireland would be in the UK customs territory legally but practically in the EU customs unions, DUP believes this harms Irish interests.
Moreover, DUP is in a confidence deal with the Conservative Party since 2017. It has given support to the minority government to make it functional. Johnson is now turning the heat on DUP as he faces a difficult battle to get his Brexit deal passed.
Is Boris Johnson’s Deal good enough to be passed?
EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that it was an ‘ordered withdrawal of the United Kingdom’. He also spoke of focus on ‘the framework for future relationship’ for the UK and EU. As per Barnier, the text provides ‘legal certainty’ in every area where Brexit would create ‘uncertainty’. In particular, and first and foremost, for citizens’.
PM Johnson has urged the MPs to hold an impromptu Parliament session on Saturday to discuss the deal.
However, several MPs are expected to be unhappy with Johnson’s frantic pursuit of legislation. They may have to vote without having properly read and analyzed the draft.
If Johnson chooses to push without the support of DUP’s 10 MPs, then he’ll have to look elsewhere. He would need support from some of Corbyn’s Labour MPs and the 21 Tory rebels he expelled in September.
Will the ‘Great’ new deal pass the litmus test in Parliament?
The battle in the Parliament will be hard-fought by Labour leader Corbyn. He is likely to push for a confirmatory referendum i.e. support the deal only if approved by a public vote. Johnson, on the other hand, is too shrewd to agree to a public vote unless he foresees a certain win.
So, this means PM Johnson, with a minority government, cannot have it his way and ignore critiques? Johnson’s only chance at getting the deal through is by bringing the DUP on board. It is yet to be seen if minor tweaks to the draft before the showdown can please the Irish Unionists. Theresa May realized that DUP can’t just be ignored, but it came at a cost for her.
If Johnson is able to seal the deal, then he emerges stronger than ever. He’d have achieved his promise of getting Brexit through. If his deal is rejected by the Parliament, Johnson will have to request an extension. That will be reluctantly and against his wish of leaving on October 31st.
- Johnson’s deal swaps Theresa May’s border “backstop” for a four-year customs alignment between the EU and Northern Ireland.
- Corbyn is likely to push for a confirmatory referendum i.e. support the deal only if approved by a public vote.
- Former PM Theresa May realized that DUP can’t just be ignored, but it came at a personal cost for her.
- Without DUP, Johnson would need support from some of Corbyn’s Labour MPs and the 21 Tory rebels he expelled in September.