Brexit talks: Second referendum an 'option for the future'

Pauline Gross
November 19, 2018

The referendum returned varying results in the four constituent parts of the UK: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Labour leader had previously said in an interview with Der Spiegel earlier in the month that one referendum had already taken place, Article 50 - the process of withdrawing from the European Union - had been triggered, and that Brexit could not be stopped.

"She is tackling an issue of epic proportions, on which she can never please everyone, and she is doing her very best to find a way through", he said.

Brexit will pitch the world's fifth largest economy into the unknown.

Under the terms of the draft agreement, the whole of the United Kingdom will remain in a customs union with the EU "unless and until" the bloc agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border.

Much of the concern centres on the "backstop" provision, which would be invoked if no solution is agreed on avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

May has presented the draft agreement with the European Union as 'the best deal for Britain, ' but criticism from all sides means she faces a huge battle to get the approval of the British Parliament.

Turmoil - and plenty of it.

As well as using all the levers of the party machinery available to affect the political arithmetic, there also appears to be an attempt to win over public sympathy.

Businesses, which fear the turmoil that could follow a disorderly Brexit, have largely welcomed the withdrawal deal.

The pound suffered its biggest fall against the USA dollar for two years on Thursday, before stabilising somewhat on Friday.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell also pledged his support for May amid what he called the "unprecedented onslaught".

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May's deal will now be put to a series of regional and domestic tests.

At the end of a bruising week for the Prime Minister, she used an interview with the Daily Mail to tell her critics their alternative plans for Brexit would not solve the main problem - the North Ireland/Ireland border backstop arrangement.

He said that was a priority ahead of pushing for a so-called people's vote on the final agreement.

John McDonnell, Labour's finance spokesman, suggested the main opposition party could negotiate a new withdrawal agreement before Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.

"My letter is in", he told journalists on Thursday outside a meeting of the influential ERG eurosceptic group of Conservative MPs, reports Reuters.

Furthermore, the Conservatives - commonly known as the Tories - are deeply divided on Brexit.

But he said the process must be taken step by step and noted the deal could still make it through the United Kingdom parliament despite the arithmetic looking unlikely at this point.

Rees-Mogg told journalists the next prime minister should be a person who believed in Brexit.

He told the Sunday Times: "If we can not close this deal on reasonable terms, we need to be very honest with the country that we will not be bribed and blackmailed or bullied and we will walk away".

Several other party leaders have also slammed the proposal. It hoped to have the deal approved and only then let MPs debate amendments.

If parliament votes against the deal, however, expect all political hell to break loose.

The broader market is fairly slack with a thinned-out economic calendar slated for Monday's action, and the upcoming sessions are likely to see continued emphasis placed not only on Brexit headlines, but the ongoing EU-Italy government budget squabble, and the US-China trade war zone, with the US' Vice President reaffirming the Trump government's intention to "more than double" tariffs on China, bringing their base tariff rate up to 25% across the board, despite a recent thawing in talks.

Other reports by GizPress

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