Britain’s main opposing party, the Labour Party, publicly announced its support for a second referendum on Brexit following the parliamentary vote that the United Kingdom leave the European Union without an established deal. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hopes that by supporting the second vote this will stop “a damaging Tory Brexit.” He also specified his support towards favoring a “public vote” towards Brexit, if the Labour party alternate deal was rejected by Parliament.
The party has compiled an alternate deal with five demands they hope Parliament will adopt for Brexit deal. These demands propose a stable agreement with the EU, shared duties and obligations with the EU, established arrangements with the Single Market, strategic fit on rights and protection, participation in EU agencies and funding programs (environment, education, etc), and “clear agreements” on security arrangements ( European Arrest Warrant, shared databases, etc).
Originally, Corbyn had been against the idea of the second vote, yet with the abrupt exit of eight members of Labour, the leader favoured the referendum. According to the Washington Post, Corbyn’s spokesman states that Prime Minister Theresa May is “recklessly running down the clock” forcing “MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous no-deal.” European Council President Donald Tusk shares the same reluctancy of going head on with the current Brexit deal as “the EU was open to Britain postponing its exit” according to Al Jazeera. “ I believe in the situation we are in a extension would be rational,” said Tusk in a press conference.
The idea of modifying the Brexit deal or delaying it has not been well received by the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party. “A delay in this process doesn’t deliver a decision in Parliament, and it doesn’t deliver a deal. What it does is precisely what the word delay says, it just delays the point in which we come to that decision,” remarked May at a news conference.
There has been skepticism and criticism of Corbyn’s quick change as Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis stated, “Once again, it’s clear: Jeremy Corbyn is using Brexit to play his own political games.” The Prime Minister also accuses Corbyn of “betraying the will of the British people and ignore the biggest democratic vote in our nation’s history.”
Although this would bring the Brexit deals to square one, it might be better delaying than a leap into the dark. The Brexit transition might cause chaos in the beginning as this would sever economic, legal, and political ties with the EU due to the mutual dependence and close bond established by both parties. This sudden detachment could cause a massive backlash as the monetary value could decrease by 8%. May does have a point; if Parliament votes no-deal, then Brexit will be further delayed due to re-elections. It is better to let these negotiations be satisfactory than to initiate a rough jump the citizens must endure after leaving.
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