AFP: Brexit: What if the British Parliament rejected the agreement?9 December 2018 | 10:57 | FOCUS News Agency
In the event of rejection, the government will have 21 days to indicate what it intends to do. Here are the possible scenarios if British parliamentarians reject the text:
The rejection of the text in the House of Commons could lead to a Brexit without agreement on March 29.
Economic relations between the United Kingdom and the EU would then be governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization and a multitude of customs and regulatory controls should be put in place urgently.
This is the dreaded scenario, both by Brussels and London as well as by the business community, which have urged negotiators to agree since the beginning of the divorce process. This scenario would lead to a further fall in the pound and plunge companies into uncertainty.
London has warned that this scenario is likely to lead to drug shortages, monster traffic jams around ports or nailing planes to the ground. These perspectives are swept aside by some of the majority members for whom "a lack of agreement is better than a bad agreement".
- Second vote
Given the fears of withdrawing without agreement, the government could seek to call a second vote in Parliament. This would involve many negotiations between the executive and the deputies to finally get their approval.
Theresa May could also ask Brussels to reconsider certain provisions of the agreement. This is what the small Northern Ireland party DUP, which has sealed an alliance with the government, wants to secure for it an absolute majority in Parliament.
If the 27 agreed to resume discussions, the date of Brexit could be postponed.
"Theresa May will come to the European summit on December 13 and 14 to ask for a renegotiation, and the 27 will say no," said a European source, however, on condition of anonymity. "They will then fall back on a protocol or clarification on a point deemed important and then return to Parliament.This could then pass because of the fear of the consequences of a departure without agreement.
Other agreement scenarios, such as the one on the Norwegian model, which has access to the single market without being a member of the EU, are mentioned as likely to get the support of a majority of MPs.
The rejection of the deal would weaken Theresa May. It could be faced with a vote of no confidence in its own party to replace it and resume negotiations or, on the contrary, to bring a Brexit to an end without agreement. It could also resign itself if the rejection is expressed by an overwhelming majority.
A motion of censure against the government could also be put to the vote of Parliament and succeed, given the weakness of the majority of a dozen votes on which Theresa May relies. It would then lead to the formation of a new government within two weeks, or to the organization of new legislation, which Labor, the main opposition party, wants.
Theresa May herself can decide to call new elections, with the support of two-thirds of Parliament. An unlikely prospect, but one that has already been agitated by the executive to favor the rallying of deputies to the withdrawal agreement.
- Second referendum
The Prime Minister has always strongly rejected such consultation, but the idea has gained ground recently in the face of resistance to her exit plan from the EU.
Labor has warned that if new elections are not on the agenda, it could position itself in favor of organizing a second referendum, an assumption that could then have the support of a heterogeneous majority in the House of Commons.
The implementation of a new vote would postpone the date of the divorce. But even if such a consultation took place, nothing says it would cancel Brexit, voted by 52% of Britons in June 2016.
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