Theresa May hurries desperate her last chances. The British Government has announced that it will submit this Friday to the vote in Parliament, for the third time, the withdrawal agreement reached with the European Union. At this point of the crisis, the deputies are not even clear what exactly they will vote for and with what consequences. The Minister of Relations with the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, has announced that an extraordinary session will be set up in Westminster to meet the deadlines set by Brussels, which this week set as the limit to approve an agreement if the United Kingdom wanted to extend its departure date to May 22. In the event that there was no agreement, the country would abandon the community institutions to the braves next April 12.
“The motion we present will be in accordance with the requirement of the president of the Chamber [ John Bercow has prohibited the Government from presenting the same text for the third time] The only way we can ensure that the EU will leave on May 22 is approving the withdrawal agreement before the deadline, at eleven o’clock on the night of March 29. It is vital that we make the necessary effort to comply with that condition and that the Chamber can debate such an important issue “, said Leadsom.
The government has found a way to get around Bercow’s demand. Instead of combining the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration agreed with the EU in a single vote, only the first of these documents will be presented to Westminster, which is really the one that has the force of an international treaty and is already a closed pact. The British media refer to him as “the divorce agreement”. May’s team has negotiated until the last minute with Bercow, who in turn was interested in lowering the growing confrontation he has had in recent days with Downing Street. The speaker confirmed to the deputies early on Thursday afternoon that he was satisfied with the formula used by the Government.
The chances of the prime minister carrying out her plan remain remote. The Northern Ireland partners of the DUP, which hold the conservative parliamentary majority, maintain their refusal. The talks held until the last minute between the two teams have been frozen without progress, even though May’s negotiators have offered the Norirlandeses a multitude of supposed guarantees that Belfast would have voice and vote in everything that had to do with the main obstacle, the so-called backstop, or Irish safeguard.
Some 15 conservative Eurosceptics have not softened before May’s announcement that he would resign his post once the Brexit agreement was approved. The most relevant leaders of the hard wing of the party, Jacob Rees Mogg or Boris Johnson, have hinted in the last hours that they would be willing to back this time to the prime minister, but they continue to condition their vote so that the DUP, at least, refrain from voting.