The Brexit drama seems to have no end

The future of the United Kingdom is uncertain and even more so when Johnson announced a parliament recession that would last about a month

Pro and anti-Brexit protesters collide in Parliament Square

Pro and anti-Brexit protesters collide in Parliament Square. / Via REUTERS

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Guevara

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Leer en español: La novela del Brexit parece no tener fin

The Brexit drama seems to have no end. After a murky referendum supported by Theresa May, where about 52% of the British agreed to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom began its long and stormy road to its exit.

The first victim charged by Brexit was nothing less than David Cameron, the former prime minister, held office since 2010-2016, who resigned after the results and who would leave office three months later to be succeeded by Theresa May.

May, appointed as the new prime minister, was on track to be as much as possible for the United Kingdom to make its exit. It was she who decided to activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which allows “a point of definite no return for a country that wishes to leave the community structure officially,” according to EuroNews.

The main challenges, at that time for May, were the economic vacuum that the country was going to leave after its departure from the European Union and, of course, the tension on the border with Ireland. This was one of the most important points to address considering that any false movement could increase the tension between the two Irlandas and England.

Between meetings and discussions about the future of Brexit, May presented a draft on the requirements and agreements for the exit of the European Union. What would be the agreement, was rejected three times, and in that moment May began to suffer. The departure date was stipulated for March 29, which did not happen. Then it was postponed on April 12 as the second date, which was also not met.

May, who continued with the idea of leaving the European Union at all costs, did not get the necessary support from parliament, which continued to oppose to everything the Prime Minister proposed. So much so that the second victim of Brexit fell: Theresa May resigned from her position on June 7, 2019 .

Also read: Brexit showdown: British lawmakers bid to block PM leaving EU with no deal

Johnson's new era

With her departure, Boris Johnson, a journalist and member of the Conservative Party, positioned himself as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019. Johnson, known for his eccentricities and often compared to Donald Trump, has been advised by Dominic Cummings who has been a key piece (the one who has most supported) the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

After the summer break of parliament ended, Johnson made his first controversial work as Prime Minister. Around "21 conservative deputies were expelled from the parliamentary group and the party for allying with the opposition and trying to curb a Brexit without agreement," according to El País.

Johnson has claimed that by October 31 the United Kingdom will definitely leave the European Union, whether or not it is by agreement. A measure he used to prevent members of parliament from protesting with an exit without an agreement, since the majority would be objecting to a 'Hard Brexit', in which “the United Kingdom would leave the European Union without an agreement in the process of 'divorce'. That way, the United Kingdom would leave the single market and the customs union, designed to facilitate trade between EU members”, as the BBC explains.

After two days, the House of Commons managed to pass a law that delimits the steps that the United Kingdom has to follow for its next meeting with the European Council (October 17 and 18).

In addition, on Friday, the House of Lords passed another law that would force Jhonson to “request an extension of Brexit to the European Union by October 19 if he fails to ratify an agreement or express permission from Parliament for a disorderly exit of the community block ”, according to La Vanguardia. In this way, the new date to effect the 'divorce' would be January 31, 2020.

You may want to read: Uproar as British PM Johnson cuts parliament time before Brexit

United Kingdom: An uncertain future

With Parliament's votes and constant rejections of Johnson's proposals, it seems that history is repeated again. Johnson, a supporter of leaving the European Union anyway, said he would not be willing to request a new extension to the organization and would not mind if the departure is given without an agreement.

If the above happens, a scenario that has been counteracted with law, could still happen. This is due to the fact that the law contemplates that the hard Brexit could occur if Parliament approves it. If it happens, it is no secret the United Kingdom would be the one to lose the most, the economic sector being one of the most affected.

According to the speculations of the International Monetary Fund, there would be a financial collapse, where dollar and euro would exceed the price of the pound, therefore it would be devalued; exports would fall (for example whiskey); the airlines would have to raise their prices, added to the decrease in GDP and the increase in unemployment.

Similarly, the economy of Northern Ireland is highly linked to that of the United Kingdom. Standard & Poor's, a risk rating agency, estimated that exports to the United Kingdom equals 8.5 percent of GDP. Also, the exit could result in Ireland going into recession.

Now, if Johnson manages to create an agreement with which both Parliament and the European Union agree, something that has not been possible to achieve, the United Kingdom will finally be able to make its exit. Something that so far is not viable, since although the recently passed law indicates that the prime minister has until October 19 to present it, Johnson has been reluctant to face this possibility.

There is also the possibility of presenting a third extension, something that the prime minister would not be so happy about; however, the approval of the European Union would be key. And, given the previous extensions, a third would not be a problem, and more so if the other option is an exit without agreement.

Meanwhile, the future of the United Kingdom is uncertain, and even more so when Johnson announced a parliament recession that would last about a month, would start on September 10 and end on October 14. Likewise, the Prime Minister is expected to call the advance of the general elections early on Monday, so that these happen on October 15

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