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COMMENTARY: Hard for OTs to take UK decisions seriously till Brexit ends


By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

The implacable and unbridgeable divisions created by Brexit in the UK means the whole Brexit mess will only be solved by a Second people’s vote — a second referendum.

But even if the British voted to stay in, or leave, a second time, these divisions driven by Brexit will remain for a generation, at least. The UK is hopelessly divided on the Brexit matter.

OK. The European Union, as of March 21, 2019, has given the UK until May 22, 2019 to vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal deal. Theresa May’s Deal is hated by most parliamentarians.

But, it appears to be the only way to exit the EU presently apart from a hard Brexit — just cutting the link and leaving without a deal on May 29. A Hard Brexit remains unlikely.

The Backstop

The opposition to Theresa May’s deal is driven by something called ‘Backstop’. Backstop is an insurance policy. It states that if the UK wants no border controls with Ireland – a member of the European Union — then the UK must remain in the EU Custom’s Union until July 1 2020.

That means the UK will be part of the European Union but without the ‘clout’. However after 2020, the Backstop can only be terminated by mutual consent between the EU and UK.

This is the bane of the Brexiteer. As long as the Backstop exists, the UK will be in the Custom’s Union. Once the Backstop is removed, a hard border sets in. There is no alternative to a hard border apart from the Backstop arrangement.

The Backstop is viewed as unacceptable leverage over the UK by the EU. The Backstop is a poke in the eye of British sovereignty according to Brexiters — UK citizens who want to leave the EU on May 29. 2019.

Integral part

While the Backstop exists, the UK will remain an integral part of the EU economy.

It stops the UK trading with other countries outside EU rules. Backstop prevents a hard border between the UK and Ireland. A hard border is something the UK does not want as it will inflame Irish Republican tensions leading to violence.

Paradoxically, staying in the EU would be the best way to protect the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom. The European Union has had to take final decisions on Brexit out of the hands of Prime Minister Theresa May and her Cabinet.

The reason is that the EU recognizes that presently the UK Cabinet is no longer in charge of the Brexit process. Brexit is being decided by factions in the UK Parliament: Westminster.

The strongest faction, whether Leave or Remain- and how that faction makes links and connections with other factions will determine the outcome of Brexit.

Can’t take UK parliament seriously right now

The next few weeks starting today will decide whether the UK leaves the European Union or remains. This is of critical importance to the Caribbean Overseas territories.

Why? Because with the present constitutional predicament in the UK, and the fact that every matter of politics is unpredictable and volatile, it is impossible for the Overseas Territories to take anything coming out of Westminster seriously until the Brexit matter is settled, one way or the other.

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  1. Quiet Warrior says:

    Indeed, Brexit has put the UK in a royal mess. It is in a tail spin. It is in disarray. It does not seems to know up from down. It does not know if it is coming or going. The grass on the Brexit side looked greener. But as the deadline looms the grass is not looking so green and does not taste as sweet. The UK wants its cake and eat it too. The xenophobia, fear of freedom of movement……etc has the UK cutting off its nose to spite its face. Boy, the UK has regressed and dropped a long way; how much farther will it fall?

    Britannia, Britannia……we cry for you. There are other words than No, No, No……etc. Poor PM Teresa May; you got to feel for her. She is willing to sacrifice her legacy for the UK. But all Parliament knows is No, No, No….etc; and with friends as those who needs enemies. UK fix yourself before you come lecturing the OTs. Your current leadership model is not the model that the OTs can emulate. You are know a laughing stock, joining your cousin across the pond.

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  2. Really? says:

    I recommend Mr Igwe actually comes to visit the UK for once to see reality here.. Reading the Guardian and passing it’s message as gospel is not going to give you the truth.

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