For the second time in recent weeks, the Parliament of the United Kingdom opposed British Prime Minister Teresa May’s proposed Brexit. The legislators of the House of Commons, while rejecting PM May’s plan to withdraw without an agreement from the EU, asked her to try to re-negotiate with the European Union.
They urged the May government to replace the clauses relating to the agreement about the borders of Northern Ireland on Brexit with another understanding and to resume negotiations with the European Union. This is while the European authorities have explicitly underlined the previous agreement reached with the English authorities on the issues and the clauses referred to therein.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and other senior European officials have stated that such talks will not take place despite the recent vote by the British Parliament on the election and withdrawal of Britain from Europe.
It seems like, May is faced with a political dead-end. On the one hand, the British PM cannot implement the agreement with Europe due to opposition from the parliament and, in particular, the Labor Party, and on the other hand, she has lost the power of a hard withdrawal from Europe without a new parliamentary vote.
There are only three ways ahead of Theresa.
The first is an attempt to negotiate with Europe, a difficult path that basically its realization is ambiguous. Although some European leaders like the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have shown a green light to the British government, most of them, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have stressed on an irreversible agreement between Brussels and London.
Undoubtedly, one of the victorious people of the recent developments in Britain is Jeremy Corbin, the leader of the British Labor Party who has achieved a major victory against the prime minister May. The British Parliament’s negative attitude to May’s plans for leaving the European Union has made it difficult for her to move on. The 432 opposition voted by the parliament, with 202 votes in favor, left no room for maneuver for the British prime minister.
Second, the British Parliament’s emphasis on the lack of withdrawal from the United Europe has led PM May to the political abyss. In this case, Jeremy Corbin could pursue his idea of holding an early election in England and holding new talks with Europe (on behalf of the next government).
There is also a third option which is holding a referendum again on election, an idea that is pursued in a particular way by some members of the conservative party and the Labor Party and people like Tony Blair and John Major.
However, the realization of this option means the British official should forget the previous referendum and the count on people’s vote. In this case, we will witness a sharp controversy in the British political and social equations, a conflict that will be held in particular between supporters and opposition leaders.
First published in our partner Tehran Times