Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Brexit in danger?

At least, Brexit is more complicated than it was in the referendum.

Facing Defeat on Brexit, May Gives Ground to U.K.’s Parliament
Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, on Tuesday promised greater control for Parliament over withdrawal from the European Union, after a threatened rebellion by lawmakers forced her into a new and potentially significant retreat in the country’s troubled exit from the bloc.
Brexit protesters in London
The day began on an ominous note with the resignation of one of Mrs. May’s ministers over her plans for withdrawal, known as Brexit, and got steadily worse for the prime minister when some of her rebel lawmakers combined with opposition parties, posing the threat of a damaging defeat.

The vote concerned an amendment that had been added by the House of Lords to Mrs. May’s main Brexit legislation. The amendment would have given lawmakers more control over the process…

Mrs. May had appealed to lawmakers not to support the amendment, arguing that it would weaken her negotiating hand with the European Union…

All this is before Mrs. May meets other European Union leaders at a summit this month for talks that are likely to be difficult…

Since losing her parliamentary majority last year, Mrs. May has been forced to adjudicate between warring factions within her Conservative Party, something that has led her to postpone a number of important decisions.

As a consequence, almost two years after the 2016 referendum that mandated British withdrawal, the British government has been unable to outline what type of economic relationship it wants with the European Union, which is its biggest trading partner.

Mrs. May’s cabinet is split between those who want to keep close ties, in order to protect the economy, and hard-line Brexit supporters who want to cut free in the hope of striking trade deals further afield.

A fierce dispute has also broken out over a British contingency plan to prevent the imposition of border checks between Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland which will remain in the European Union…

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