11/12/2018 – May Postpones Parliamentary Brexit Vote

GBP

British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal on Monday, throwing Britain’s plan to leave the European Union into chaos after admitting that she faced a rout.

May’s move on the eve of the scheduled parliamentary vote opens up an array of possible outcomes ranging from a disorderly Brexit without a deal, a last-minute deal clinched just weeks before Britain’s March 29 exit, or another EU referendum.

Announcing the delay, May was laughed at by some members of parliament when she said there was broad support for her deal reached with the EU last month, the result of 18 months of tortuous negotiations, and that she had listened carefully to different views over it.

With her position at home in open jeopardy, May said she would go back to the EU and seek reassurances over the so-called Irish backstop, aimed at ensuring there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland as a result of Brexit.

It was not immediately clear whether the EU’s 27 other members, which have a combined economic might six times that of the United Kingdom, would face changes which would convince her domestic opponents to support a deal.

May indicated she was seeking further assurances from the EU on the working of the backstop – an insurance policy to avoid a return to border checks between the British province of Northern Ireland and the EU-member Irish Republic, and would seek to give the British parliament more power over its application.

May said the deeper question was whether parliament wanted to deliver on the will of the people for Brexit, or open up the divisions in the world’s fifth largest economy with another referendum.

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