And although everybody is focusing on that Halloween deadline, it is actually the June date that is the additional substantial.
Just 3 weeks ago, Could told lawmakers in the Property of Commons that she could not “as Prime Minister” delay Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond June 30. Right after that, Britain would be obliged to send representatives to the European Parliament, exactly where a new session starts on July 1.
If Could can not get her Withdrawal Agreement, battered and bruised, by way of the Property of Commons in time to place a cease to these European elections and hustle the UK out of the EU by the finish of June, almost everything will be back in play.
It practically does not matter what that is — a cross-celebration deal that permits a Brexit deal to get by way of the Property of Commons, a second referendum to break the deadlock, a basic election that lastly sees off Could. What is clear is that European leaders are carried out with the present impasse exactly where the UK can not get its act with each other to leave, but the EU is unwilling to force it out.
The reality that Brexit was not delivered by the original Write-up 50 deadline has carried out one thing to the psychology of British politics. Right here in Brussels, exactly where they watch the action back in London closely, there is open speak that Brexit is on the verge of evaporating. The sentiment is not challenging to comprehend — the UK has, right after all this time, demonstrated no clear program for delivering Brexit.
And when you miss one particular deadline, missing a second becomes significantly less of an concern. And if you miss a third, then is there any point of possessing deadlines at all?
If practically nothing else, this most up-to-date extension provides the UK a bit of breathing space to regroup and function out if it can locate a way forward — although sustaining a sense of urgency. In that sense, it is rather clever.
Though October is later than the UK asked for, the reality that a mention of June 30 remains in the final deal reminds everybody that the additional existential queries regarding the future of the UK’s connection with Europe ought to be answered — and quickly.
Either the UK is out, with a deal, on June 30. Or it is in the EU as a complete member till at least October. By that time, the referendum outcome — a narrow victory of 52%-48% — will be 3 years old. And what if all manner of proposed options fail to locate a majority by then — customs union, Norway “plus” and all the rest? And what if the parliamentary arithmetic is nevertheless a mess — no all round majority for any celebration and no prospect of acquiring any controversial legislation by way of on any matter, let alone Brexit?
Only a fool tries to predict how items will eventually play out. But if the UK is nevertheless a member state on July 1, 2019, then it is no stretch of the imagination to see the complete point becoming thrown out and taken back to square one particular. That could imply a new Prime Minister, a new path for Britain post-Brexit, a resurgence of help for no deal, or even the scrapping of Brexit altogether.
At that point it will be challenging not to ask the query: What on earth has all this been for?