The date for UK’s exit from EU is just approaching, but till now no agreeable plan has surfaced to ensure the smooth transition. The latest advancement in this regard is Brexit draft withdrawal agreement which is nothing more than a challenge to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, though it has backing from cabinet.
Concerns Over Brexit Draft Withdrawal Agreement
According to British media reports Theresa May got approval of her cabinet over Brexit draft withdrawal agreement after a five hours long meeting. Still, some ministers were against the draft.
May also faced backlash from Democratic Unionist Party backers and Conservative Brexiteers.
What caused outrage among Tory MPs was backstop provision for EU-UK single custom territory. The provision meant to prevent border checks in Ireland in absence of no trade deal. While Brexiteers fear that backstop provision would keep United Kingdom tied to European Union rule, Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed it. He described the day of Brexit draft withdrawal agreement as “one of the better days in Politics.
DUP leader Arlene Foster opined in a tweet Miss May was fully aware of their position and concerns.
We had a frank meeting tonight with the Prime Minister lasting almost an hour. She is fully aware of our position and concerns.
— Arlene Foster #WeWillMeetAgain (@ArleneFosterUK) November 14, 2018
A Disregard for Interests of Scotland
First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon also raised her concerns. In her tweet he stated that not a single mention of Scotland in the agreement disregarded their interests and put Scotland at a serious competitive advantage.
Not long off call with PM. She tried to tell me Scotland’s ‘distinctive’ interests had been protected. I pointed out that there isn’t a single mention of Scotland in the agreement, that it disregards our interests, and puts Scotland at a serious competitive disadvantage.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 14, 2018
Challenges for Theresa May
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to give her statement in House of Commons on Thursday, November 15. The session in British parliament may see a fierce debate on Brexit draft withdrawal agreement, with a strong opposition from Brexiteers making it challenging for May to get approval of MPs. According to BBC political commentator Kuensbergg there might be a move against Theresa May in next 24 hours.
Earlier the Chequers Brexit plan had also posed danger of a likely no confidence vote against Theresa May, triggered by Tory MPs.
What is Brexit Draft All About
Brexit draft withdrawal agreement that reportedly talks about Brexit divorce bill as well, is a 585 pages long document. Here are some prominent provisions of Brexit Draft.
- There will be a transition period that will start after the date of Brexit and end on December 21. The duration will allow UK and EU to arrive at a trade deal. UK will also be under the jurisdiction of European court of justice during transition period.
2. There will be a single customs territory in case of backstop which will kick in when there is no trade deal. Backstop is also referred to as Protocol on Northern Ireland.
3. End of backstop will come if European Union and United Kingdom jointly decide that there is no need for it.