Any deal is better than no deal with Brexit


April 8, 2019 - 9:31 AM

Saying she wanted to “break the logjam” in Parliament over Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May last week reached out to the opposition Labor Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. It was a bold move that could mitigate the effect of the blunder British voters made in 2016 when they chose to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. Ideally, it could even lead to undoing that disastrous decision.

May’s stated goal, as she reiterated in a statement Tuesday, is to “deliver the Brexit the British people voted for” _ but in a form that cushions the blow to the British economy and prevents the reestablishment of a “hard border” between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the independent Republic of Ireland. The danger that Brexit would re-divide the island and reignite sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland received scant attention during the original Brexit debate, but has loomed large since.

The problem for May is that the House of Commons has refused three times to approve the deal she negotiated with the EU for a gradual and managed Brexit. Confoundingly, most members also seem to be opposed to a “no-deal” Brexit _ a rupture that could occur if Parliament doesn’t approve the agreement by the current deadline of April 12. In announcing her overture to the Labor Party, May also said that she would ask the EU to extend the deadline, and Parliamanet voted for a second time.)

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