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  • A bus with anti-Brexit slogans parked in front of the British Parliament.

    A bus with anti-Brexit slogans parked in front of the British Parliament. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 December 2018

The Brexit deal is generating more controversies as U.K. Primer Minister deferred the vote until January hoping to secure Parliamentary support.

The spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday that Parliament will vote on the Brexit deal before Jan. 21.


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The vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday but May announced the deferment of the vote after it became clear she did not have sufficient support in Parliament. During the extra time she now has before the vote, the British MP will seek extra reassurances from the European Union in hopes to secure parliament's approval.

However, the EU ruled out renegotiating the Brexit divorce treaty or its Irish border protocol.

“The deal we achieved is the best possible. It’s the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation,” European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Less than four months before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, on March 29, May finally accepted that British lawmakers would reject her deal. But she said the only other options were a disorderly no-deal divorce or a reversal of Brexit that would defy the will of those who voted for it.  

A no-deal divorce means no agreement on how to continue doing business with each other. Without a deal, U.K.-EU accords, permits, and other rules will be null and void, resulting in higher trade tariffs, border checks, and no free movement between them.


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Many fear that Parliament is moving towards a no-deal Brexit. However, Richard Seymour, the Marxist activisT and writer from Northern Ireland gave a different view.

“There are a lot of people saying that a no deal is the only thing that there’s a majority for in the House of Commons. The problem is, that rests on the idea that Labour MPs will vote loyally. I would be surprised if there wasn’t a significant fraction of Labour MPs willing to break ranks on this,” Seymour said in an interview with  Jacobin magazine.

They’re already setting up their excuses, their arguments, their justifications, and of course, the main justification is: if they don’t vote for the government’s deal then it will be no deal and that would be such a disaster.”

A reversal of Brexit is also not acceptable according to Seymour. “It would entail Britain applying to re-enter the European Union with its tail between its legs… there are alternatives to being members of this or that neoliberal institution, and that the gesture of returning to membership in the European Union, terrified out of our wits by the prospect of no deal, would be a fundamentally conservative one.”


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Seymour believes that there should be other alternatives than re-joining European Union as it is “even less democratic than national states.”

The EU has its own logic, a very neoliberal, white logic which clamps down on states that go against the EU’s approved ways of handling economy. Every country has to get their budgets approved by the EU and if it does not deliver according to the guidelines of the organization, the budgets are sent back, and states are asked to redraw them. If any state goes against the EU or challenges the institution, then they are fined.

“They have been referred by the European Commission to what’s known as the ‘excessive deficit procedure.’ That’s going to result in a series of steep and deepening fines on a regular basis. Now, they’re not relying just on the fines. It’s the way in which political pressure intersects with financial pressure. In other words, the European Commission would be relying upon the financial markets to punish countries,” Seymour explained.

In the same breathe the activist also criticized the Left saying, “For most of the Left, it’s so that we can keep free movement (for white Europeans, largely). I don’t see what in this set of institutions is worth throwing aside all serious rigor and analysis for.”


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However, the analyst believes that if a deal was drawn by the Labour Party, it would have been better than May’s deal.

Pressure is mounting on May as lawmakers within her party,  endorse the idea that  she should step down.

“If we can’t go forward with her deal ... then I’m afraid the only way to change the policy is to change the prime minister and I really think it’s her duty to go,” Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker said.

Three out of four living prime ministers and a growing chorus of backbench lawmakers say a new Brexit referendum is the only way out of the impasse.

Both May’s ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party have pledged to implement the results of the 2016 referendum, in which 52 percent of British voters backed exiting the EU.

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