Leaving EU drags on UK economy
Some senior lawmakers from Tory as well as Labour parties are seriously contemplating to initiate a move to undo the Brexit. Their move is based on the peoples' perception that Brexit has failed to do good to Britain instead it has simply complicated the economic and employment scenario prevailing in the UK.
Incidentally, a recent meet of the Theresa May's Cabinet could not reach an agreement on what a transitional implementation period for Brexit should look like. The minister could not reach a consensus. After this development some senior Conservative MPs are urging members of Theresa May's Cabinet to stop publicly setting out their demands for a transitional deal on Brexit, saying the move could make negotiations with the European Union more difficult. May is also under pressure not to move immediately to reduce immigration.
Maximum confusion surrounds on the future relation of the UK with the EU once the UK's relationship comes to an end with it leaving the EU block in 2019. Some of the MPs from the UK are of the opinion that the EU citizens would be free to continue coming to the UK during the transition period, as long as they registered.
As if this was not enough, some senior Treasury officials not only want to maintain a close association with the EU customs union during transition, but they also have not ruled out retaining that relationship in the long term.
Anna Soubry, an advocate of soft Brexit, said: "It's clear that at last the economy and jobs are at the heart of a sensible and smooth Brexit." She urged colleagues to put their ideology to one side and get behind the Chancellor and Prime Minister. "These Brexiteers promised a land of milk and honey – the reality is gruel and chlorinated chicken," she said.
However, it is the observation of the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat — "I'm starting to believe Brexit will not happen" — that has simply added gist to the speculation. Joseph who has inside view of Brexit talks as his country holds EU presidency says that 'tide is turning'. He also said: "Brexit may not happen and a political leader in Britain should show courage and fight for a referendum on the terms of the country's exit deal with the EU."
Joseph Muscat has spoken of his growing belief that the UK will remain an EU member. His assumption is based on the deliberations and discussions between the UK and EU representatives. His optimism reflects to be of a high order when he says: "The will of the people can have disastrous consequences, history teaches us. For the first time, I'm starting to believe that Brexit will not happen. I am seeing hopeful signs that indicate things will change. I see encouraging signs that the tide is turning. I'm not saying the Brits have made a mistake, but the mood is changing."
Muscat, who is the leader of the Maltese Labour party said: "The referendum was democratic, but has resulted in a situation in which everyone loses. Doubt is creeping in. It would be good if a political leader in the UK stands up and is courageous enough to address this new situation. Someone who says: let's put the Brexit end-deal to a popular vote."
Though there is a growing realisation amongst a section of the UK's lawmakers that Brexit is not the answer to the present challenges the country faces, they are equally apprehensive of raising the issue in a strong manner as this may be exploited by the EU leadership to corner the UK. May has already made her mind known that holding a referendum on a withdrawal agreement would only encourage Brussels to present punitive terms in the hope of keeping the UK inside the bloc. Nevertheless, the final deal negotiated with the EU will be put to a vote in Parliament.
There is a general impression that the UK leadership is not well prepared to take forward the Brexit negotiation. But it is not the case. The fact of the matter is the UK leadership is buying time. The problem is that Britain is in a state of stupor. It is yet to reconcile to the idea of leaving the EU.
The Maltese Prime Minister, the current chair of the EU, did not believe that London is not prepared for talks. He holds; "People who say the Brits don't know what they are doing is wrong. I have lived in Britain, I know the British mentality. A non-prepared British government official simply doesn't exist.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure from prominent Labour leaders to opt for a softer Brexit plan. The rank and file have also threatened to trigger a rebellion on the issue at its autumn conference if the leadership ignores their view. Senior leaders Neil Kinnock, former shadow justice secretary Charlie Falconer, and former chairman of the parliamentary Labour party Dave Watts, are in favour of retaining Britain's single market membership at least until a permanent deal could be hammered out.
While the plan for a three-year transition deal set out by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has gained support among the cabinet and Labour, major challenges remain in securing such an agreement. A sizeable group of Labour MPs would like Labour to back keeping the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit, the so-called "Norway option". According to these leaders, this would be the only way to mitigate the instability.
Sadiq Khan, the London mayor and a prominent Labour face, said that Brexit could be avoided should Labour use its next general election manifesto to back staying in the EU or endorse a second referendum on withdrawal. Undoubtedly, there's nothing more important than maintaining jobs and the economy, and the people would certainly like to see the Labour leadership taking a stronger line when so much is at stake.
The question of the single market is opening up another potential divide for Labour after Corbyn also insisted the UK would have to leave the grouping when Brexit takes place. Labour's leader in Wales, Carwyn Jones, claimed there was "no need to leave the single market even as we leave the EU".
It is interesting to watch that the discussion on exchange of Brexit has not been progressing well. EU and Britain have yet not reached an agreement on half of the issues in Brexit talks. The EU and UK Brexit teams working on the future rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe have failed to reach agreement on 22 of the 44 issues under negotiation, a joint working paper has revealed. A detailed colour-coded document reveals there is agreement on 22 "green areas" but fundamental disagreements on 14 "red" issues and a further eight "amber" areas that need further clarification. Among the red-light issues in the document, which is dated June 19, is the UK's requirement for "self-sufficient" citizens such as stay-at-home parents and students to have private health insurance or comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI).
Also baffling was the EU's apparent U-turn on its offer in May to allow Britons in Europe the freedom to move around Europe enabling them to work, see clients or travel freely. There is no denying the fact that Britons in Europe 'face huge loss' if EU and UK cannot agree on rights They are also still in disagreement on "posted workers", those workers who are moved by the employer or voluntarily to another EU country on a temporary basis. British citizens living in the European Union say they will suffer "a huge loss" if negotiators from the UK and Brussels do not settle their differences over the rights of citizens to live and work across the continent after Brexit.
Jane Golding, the chair of British in Europe, a coalition of 11 grassroots organisations across the continent campaigning for their rights post-Brexit, said it would be "a huge loss" if British citizens could not have the right to live, work and study in more than one EU country after Brexit. The Swedish minister for EU affairs has said it would be "unfair" for Britons to have more rights in Europe than EU citizens in the UK, as currently proposed by Theresa May.
Brexit officially takes place in March 2019. A three-year transitional period would have to be agreed by the rest of the EU, and only after that would the UK have a completely new immigration system, its own trade deal with the EU, and be able to strike trade deals with other countries. Some Brexit supporters feel unhappy with the prospect of the UK being unable to strike trade deals with third parties for three years after leaving the EU. IPA
(The views expressed are strictly personal.)