Completely bizarre. The UK is withdrawing from the EU at midnight on 29 March 2019, withdrawal deal or no withdrawal deal. What these MPs in effect are saying is: ‘we demand the EU make a deal with the UK, otherwise we demand the UK ignore article 50’. The EU is under no obligation to make a deal with the UK (and its negotiation behaviour suggests it actively does not want a deal), and the UK cannot unilaterally withdraw Article 50.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 12:02 PM CEST


There is only brexit…..
Hard or soft has little to do with the UK, that’s down to the EU to agree.
And that’s not happening.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 12:29 PM CEST

Jack Boot

The article states;-
“If such a transition does not happen, one tabled amendment to the bill says, Britain should not be allowed to leave the U.K.”

This is weird, I had no idea Britain was going to leave the UK ! ?

Posted on 10/15/17 | 12:40 PM CEST

Jack Boot

Oh look, its been corrected.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 12:47 PM CEST



I saw that quote but merely assumed the politico writers knew something we didn’t. After all, they often write about things that are completely the opposite of what I thought to be true, but what do I know?

Posted on 10/15/17 | 12:48 PM CEST



Do you think Cornwall should be allowed a vote to breakaway from the Democratic Republic of Anglesey and join the US ? What about the rights of all the UK nationals currently living there, should they be allowed to keep the Roman right of ‘trial by Lion’? :-)… To say nothing of ‘estovers’…

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:06 PM CEST

Europe means peace and love

‘ask the European Union to re-join the European Union’ or ‘ask the European Union to delay the exit.’ or ‘agree on any deal the European Union would like to offer’ perhaps but ‘not be allowed’, weird, too late anyway.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:22 PM CEST

From Warsaw with love

Soft Brexit is in fact an another form of – thinly-veiled, rephrased – cherry-picking, transition and trade deals would be a reward for the UK, whose minister has just called the EU an “enemy.” After the UK threatened the EU with severing lifes-saving security cooperation and resorting to corporate taxation and regulatory dumping strategy, London has lost all moral rights to seek our good will and concessions, even if it means some minor pains for EU economy.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:26 PM CEST


@From Warsaw with love
“even if it means some minor pains for EU economy.”

? It’s cute how you’ve rationalised Brexit from ‘the end of the world as we know it’ to ‘minor pains’ Both are wildly wrong of course but it gives us an insight into your mindset.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:37 PM CEST


Brexit is automatic in a no deal scenario unless the EU and the UK agree transitions/postponements. That’s all there is too it. The EU can demand this and that, the House of Lords and the opposition can do likewise. It matters not one jot.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:43 PM CEST

a reader

Hardly an issue for the EU27 to lose a night’s sleep over it or give in in any which way whatsoever. Theresa May’s very own problem. One of her numerous problems. She laid down with dogs and wakes up with fleas. Fleas for the rest of her premiership. Well deserved.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 1:45 PM CEST


@Hong Kong real estate news
It does resemble the Chinese Dragon Dance a bit doesn’t it?

Posted on 10/15/17 | 2:21 PM CEST


The idea of Labour ‘forcing’ the Tories to accept a soft Brexit expresses elements of UK domestic politics unrelated to Brexit and possibly elements of a belated attempt by Labour to show solidarity with socialist parties in EU27 countries which oppose Brexit. (Indeed, the emotional pitch of Brexit debate contains elements of an ideological clash between national political partisanship and transnational political partisanship in Europe.)

But, regardless of the origins of Labour’s emerging new position on Brexit the question of soft versus hard Brexit is really a question for the EU to decide, because the path to negotiating Brexit, soft or hard, is currently blocked by the EU’s insistence on receiving a large cash payment from Britain as an entry fee before negotiatons on that topic can begin. As an opposition party, Labour is more or less obliged to articulate the arguments against what the party in government is doing, and Brexit is a controversial matter on which there are many arguments to articulate.

But it is difficult to imagine that the Labour party will, at the critical time, champion the cause of paying 100 billion euros to the EU, with nothing guaranteed in return, as an entry fee into the room for negotiating whether Brexit will be soft or hard. Furthermore, if nothing further is done on Brexit, the result will be a no-deal Brexit, and that makes the path to a non-hard Brexit more difficult.

Ultimately, the Labour and Conservative parties — which together represent about 80 percent of the political establishment — share the same disability when it comes to Brexit. They are parties of the status quo, even though they differentiate themselves by emphasising different aspects of the status quo, whereas Brexit represents (for good or ill) a change to the status quo.

Brexit calls upon the representatives of the status quo to orchestrate radical change, and that is a considerable challenge. However, radical change and the status quo are mutually exclusive, and a party that succeeds in maintaining the status quo after Brexit risks the anger of those who voted for radical change. The attitude of UK voters towards Brexit was not understood on 22 Jun 2016, and the current attitude of UK voters towards Brexit is not understood today.

As a result, Brexit remains a risk for all UK political parties, perhaps more than it can possibly represent an opportunity.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 2:24 PM CEST


@ Steuersklave

“Completely bizarre.”

That is quite bizarre only if you’ll only take it by the letter. They can’t force the PM to sign “any” deal before March 29 of 2019, indeed. But this is political: in a parliamentary democracy, the government is needing a majority in Parliament. Especially when it is dealing with such an enormous issue like Brexit. And if a majority in Parliament is ready to oppose a no-deal exit of the EU, it is my understanding the PM must comply to a sovereign British parliament. Or she can call for another snap election. But I don’t believe Mrs May is very keen to face voters so soon…

Posted on 10/15/17 | 2:43 PM CEST


@ kermelen

But you are only looking at half the story. The British Parliament has no power over the EU’s Brexit demands, regardless of whether the Parliament contains a Tory or Labour majority. It also has no power over the Lisbon Treaty which makes clear that the UK is out on 29 March 2019 with or without a withdrawal agreement.

More importantly, even though the British Brexit position is indeed democratically accountable, the EU Brexit position is only very remotely accountable to EU citizens. It will make no difference to the EU demands that the Republic of Ireland, for example, desperately wants a trade deal with the UK.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 2:52 PM CEST


This is why Brexit negotiations will never work out for the better, at least not as soon as expected, or possibly perhaps never. Referendum results showed a divided UK population and the process of Brexit shows divided political actors. The same is not happening in the EU27 (and not the tiniest bit not in the same scale). Even if Brexit happens the EU27 will have faced it united and not have known that anything different could have played out. Considerable doubt is the UK’s greatest achievement so far for the future.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 3:34 PM CEST


To my understanding the parlament can only have an opinion, if UK government is able to sign some kind of agreement with EU. If the government continue to be as un decisive as today. The typical outcome is no deal and there is very little for the parlament to accept. So actually This is totally an UK internal problem.
Even I can’t believe the brexit hard ballers are that self destructive.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 4:02 PM CEST

Deirdre Walsh

It truly is bizarre, the EU is behind it with their shady talks with Labour. The same Labour Party that has announced more positions on Brexit than the Karma Sutra. The Tory rebels are the bitter & vindictive losers that lost their job. The British people will not tolerate this cabal betraying the UK & working with the Brussels elite to stop Brexit. They are actively working to undermine the negotiations & the British position which makes them traitors.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 5:18 PM CEST

Europe means peace and love

conclusion : ‘no deal or the best deal for europe’ EU of course. But ‘No deal’ is too risky for everybody…

Posted on 10/15/17 | 5:25 PM CEST


@ Steuersklave

“More importantly, even though the British Brexit position is indeed democratically accountable, the EU Brexit position is only very remotely accountable to EU citizens.”

One could as well argue the EU Brexit position is defined by the EU council and that the 27 heads of state in that council are all democratically elected in their own countries.

I believe your mistake is to consider the EU as a country. It is not. It has no position by itself. It is at best an echo chamber of a consensus between its members.

There is not one single so-called “EU law” that was not agreed by the UK in the last 45 years, from preparation work to EU council consensus. There was not one single common policy that was enforced to the UK in the last 45 years. It was free to opt out from the Euro and Schengen.

Nobody’s perfect, the EU included. But now pretending a consultary referendum in the UK is more legitimate than the common position of 27 democratic countries is at best self-indulging. And so far from the mark. The EU is accepting the Brexit referendum by the same democratic spirit you deny them.

If you now require the EU citizens to also vote on Brexit, as the only legitimate process that would allow the EU to negotiate exit terms and post Brexit relations with the UK then you have a very bizarre conception of democracy: plebiscites are not enough to embody democracy. They are usually used to work around it.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 5:32 PM CEST


F#ckwits! Article 50 is triggered deal or no deal we have to leave regardless!

Posted on 10/15/17 | 5:45 PM CEST


@ kermelen

You are trying to change the subject, and failing. The point is that the EU27 are defining their Brexit position, not the EU28, and rightly so. To have the UK taking part in internal EU debates about Brexit would be bizarre.

Instead we have negotiations between the EU27 and the ‘EU1’. The EU1 (UK) cannot force the EU27 to negotiate a Brexit deal and it cannot unilaterally cancel the Article 50 notification. So how can any British MPs ‘force’ the British government to agree to a Brexit deal if there is no deal agreed? How can they ‘reject’ leaving the EU without a deal when the Lisbon Treaty dictates that the UK must leave, deal or deal?

Posted on 10/15/17 | 5:50 PM CEST


@ Peter2

“To my understanding the parlament can only have an opinion”

In the French Republic, the People is sovereign. In the United Kindom, it is the Parliament. Therefore the “opinion” of the British Parliament can’t be ignored by the PM. As was demonstrated by British high courts about Article 50 about a year ago.

Mrs May called for a snap election last June in the hope to increase her grip on Parliament. She lost it and she is now so weak that she had to buy a thin majority from the DUP.

If the “opinion” of the majority in Parliament is truly that the UK needs to settle divorce terms with the EU, then what can she do but comply?

She could resign or call for another snap election, indeed. But there is one thing she can’t do and that is to ignore the Parliament’s “opinion”.

Not in British democracy. And certainly not because of a plebiscite that occurred 18 months ago.

A win-win deal can be settled in about two weeks if both parties have no other options.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 6:04 PM CEST


“So how can any British MPs ‘force’ the British government to agree to a Brexit deal if there is no deal agreed?”

Precisely. They can require a deal. And if the PM is not able to deliver, she can be dismissed.

A win-win deal can be settled in about two weeks: there is still plenty of time to reach one. With Mrs May or with the next PM.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 6:08 PM CEST


@ kermelen

Parliament voted in favour of holding the plebiscite and voted in favour of respecting it (by triggering Article 50). Therefore Brexit is indeed a sovereign act.

Posted on 10/15/17 | 6:09 PM CEST


@ kermelen

As far as the EU is concerned it doesn’t matter whether the UK Prime Minister is Jeremy Corbin, Theresa May, or Mother Theresa. The EU 3 demands would be the same. Any democratic government would reject the demands, so again, how could any British governmet force the EU to make a deal?

Posted on 10/15/17 | 6:12 PM CEST

Nicholas Payne

Is this not simple, with no deal parliament votes to withdraw the intention of leaving the EU

Posted on 10/15/17 | 6:53 PM CEST

Source: Politico