Brexit is still a mess

Editorial

Brexit was supposed to be upon us, with Theresa May leading at the helm. Instead, parliament voted to prolong our membership of the EU and Theresa May has offered to put down her premiership. May agreed to step aside if parliament formally voted for her EU Withdrawal Agreement, handing the next, integral phase of negotiations, that will decide Britain’s future relationship with the EU, to whomever next picks-up the poisoned chalice.

After nearly three years of uninspired chaos, the last few days’ of parliament might make it conceivable to presume that Britain is finally opening the doors to a solution that may soothe some of the crisis. Mrs May has played her resignation card in the hope of persuading her many rebellious Tory MPs to vote her hated deal through. Parliament, however, has been more subtle than May in their working toward a Brexit compromise.

The mess that Britain has created will not likely be tidied by a powerless Mrs May stepping aside. Despite the prime minister’s ultimate offer, the deal she proposes remains unloved and, at worse, loathed. There is a chance, though, that this sacrificial stance could pull some of her rebels into the voting booths. Some previous “no deal” Brexiteers, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, who previously said May’s deal would turn the UK into a “slave state,” have been enthused by her offer and have now reconciled to back the deal. They also fear what the machinations of parliament could mean for Brexit. There is still little chance of the deal passing the Commons, as the Unionist’s still have not budged and many of the faction known as the European Research Group (ERG) have stubbornly entrenched.

The week’s most promising developments are with parliament, as they have begun to debate and look for proactive solutions out of this drama. After winning control of the Commons agenda, parliament has proceeded in voting and musing over realistic options regarding Brexit. Even though none of their held votes gained the support of a majority, it would be foolish to say they were unproductive. A large proportion of MPs looked favourably on the idea of Britain staying aligned with the Customs Union. MPs also indicated their desire for any deal negotiated being put before the electorate in a confirmatory referendum. Mrs May could still, however, hang-on if her deal is not passed and disrupt any Brexit produced in parliament. But, if she does fall on her own sword, her successor could just do the same and prolong the Brexit game, or prematurely end it with a calamitous no deal Brexit. Either way, we’re still in the dark creeping around the bits of Lego the Brexit kids left out.

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