Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Brexit battles get bloody

Britain's inability to leave the EU in time already affects British and European policies.

On the day that Brexit did not happen for the second time, Nigel Farage, former leader of the anti-EU UKIP, launched his new political movement, the Brexit Party.

A member of the European Parliament since 1999, Farage says his party would appeal to voters across the political spectrum who were "betrayed" by the political class. He places a £ 1,000 ($ 1,300) bet on the Brexit party that won the European elections and says there will be "no more Mr. Nice Guy" in the campaign field.

Farage knows something about the European elections. In 2014 he led his former party in the UK to victory. European elections are known to have a low turnout that can appeal to more radical politicians who chase the protest vote. In 2014, this meant that UKIP, a party without a single seat in the British Parliament, sent more MEPs to Brussels than any other mainstream party.

This time Farage will be able to use the country's only theme to his advantage. Even if his party is not as successful as he hopes, it is likely that a large proportion of UK delegates will be Eurosceptic.

This should alarm the EU. The UK, as a full member, will have the right to vote and thwart the EU's plans as long as it remains in the bloc.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP and leader of the Pro-Brexit European Research Group, says that this warlike behavior is well justified and necessary.

"The EU was not truly cooperative during the Brexit process, so I do not think we owe the EU a duty to cooperate in return," Rees-Mogg said.

"If we send Eurosceptic MEPs to Brussels, I do not expect them to work with federal EU programs, and they should block any attempt to top up the EU budget."

This uncomfortable reality threatens the Europeans.

Marietje Schaake, a liberal member of the European Parliament, says key decisions will be taken before October, including the election of a new president of the European Commission.

Similarly, the Brexit party will undoubtedly seize every opportunity to have a negative impact on the EU, clearly proving that sitting at the table has more influence than taking a step back " said Schaake.

The failure of Brexit also affects domestic politics in London. After trying for two years to get boarded up by hardened Brexite members of her own party as well as the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party with her plans, May resigned last week and began negotiating with the opposition Labor Party.

Since both camps were so divided on the Brexit issue, any compromise would lead to chaos among the deputies of both parties.

Some Labor MEPs want Corbyn to vote for a second referendum, which means that they will approve May's deal, but on condition that a public vote takes place. Even on this issue there is disagreement over whether this vote should include the option to completely cancel Brexit.

Labor's official position on Brexit is that Britain will remain in a permanent customs union with the EU. That would not only upset conservative aftershocks but also members of May's government.

Liam Fox, Britain's UK Secretary of Commerce, wrote that a customs union would put the UK in the worst of the two worlds, not only unable to determine our international trade policy, but subjecting itself to unity without political representation would, over the deputies would have no democratic control. "

It would also be unpopular among MEPs supporting Labor MEPs.

Labor MP Laborarian MP Kate Hoey says that "any Labor government joining the Customs Union can not enforce radical policies such as state aid or nationalization." I see no compromise from the Customs Union, who does not break the promises in the 2017 manifestations of both parties. "

Few in London expect the talks between the two parties to go anywhere. May has already stated that, if her deal comes to fruition, she will step down and underpin her political legacy as Prime Minister, who has succeeded in taking Britain out of the EU. But as eager as she would be to say goodbye to Brexit once and for all, it would be unpredictable to leave her party with a party.

In addition, the Labor Party can smell blood and has been in campaign mode for months. Why should she suddenly risk her credibility by saving a weak conservative government as a leader in the last days of May?

While former UKIP leader Farage and others could still hope for pure, clean Brexit, the deadlock among the British Remain factions has also sparked a fire.

"It's April 29, and the UK has not left the European Union, and Brexit is defeating itself," Wes Streeting, a pro-EU Labor MP, told me earlier this week.

He says that the campaign for a second referendum is in a much stronger position than many believed.

"The Prime Minister stoically tried to fulfill the result of the referendum, but it was impossible for them to honor the promises people made during the referendum."

In Brussels, European diplomats and EU officials discussed the growing sense that Brexit might disappear. This view is shared by the group that is campaigning for a second referendum.

Tom Brufatto, head of the referendum campaign, said March 29 was a "sigh of relief for a majority of people in the UK, and the risk of not reaching agreement on a fixed date caused great anxiety about stress."

It offered solid support to Remain's supporters that leaving the EU was not an inevitable end to this process.

"The extension was seen as a hope for a lighthouse," he said. "I think there will be a mobilization of voters who want to participate in the most important and well-known elections in the history of the European Union."

The truth is that the UK Parliament could not agree on a Brexit outcome, coupled with the EU's reluctance to exclude the UK, leaving all options open. The fact that there is no majority in the House of Commons and that it frustrates the Brexit process means that the one who manages to break the sack first will win the day.

Whether this is a tough Brexiteers mission that forces May out of office and replaces her with a fire-eater, Remainers gets a second referendum, or May does the impossible and concludes a deal with Labor, one can only guess.

The EU has given Britain room to self-clarify. His attempt to give the Brexit process a sense of calm could lead to some bloodiest political battles.

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