British politics will be thrown “into chaos” for weeks to come as uncertainty grows over whether the UK government would be able to sell a draft deal it has reached with the European Union on leaving the bloc, says an academic and political commentator in London.
“At this moment, the fun, or, depending on your point of view, the agony, has started,” said Rodney Shakespeare. “British politics will be going into chaos in the next few weeks.”
Shakespeare said the UK government had a long way to go to have its Brexit deal approved by political parties, the two chambers of the parliament, and also the British public.
However, he said, the government will do whatever it can to win the approval of members of the ruling Conservative Party, who have been in disarray over the Brexit deal.
Some ministers have threatened that they could resign from the cabinet once the details of the Brexit deal in clear.
“I can tell you that the government will be using every single device to ensure unity of the Conservative Policy party including bribery and blackmail,” said Shakespeare as he referred to a Wednesday meeting of the British cabinet to discuss the draft deal.
Shakespeare said some members the Conservative Party, who are not in the government, may protest against the draft deal, adding that there have been strong opposition to the deal from political parties in Northern Ireland, as well as from the opposition Labour Party and two houses of the Parliament.
“There is this issue that whether this deal, which is not yet known, will be acceptable to the Conservative Party and, particularly, to Northern Ireland,” he said.
"On top of that there is the position of the Labour party and do not forget the House of Lords.”
Shakespeare reiterated that the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which backs the Conservative-led government, will almost certainly reject the draft deal, as it reportedly allows the EU to include the British province in its customs union for two years after Britain’s departure from the bloc, which will come in March.
“Signs are at this moment that the northern Irish people are saying they will have nothing to do with a deal which in some way treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK,” he said,
"So everything to play for, it is a very exciting time. We are moving into chaos and something big is going to happen in the next few days”
Reports on Tuesday suggested that British and EU negotiators had reached a general agreement on the text of a Brexit deal. The deal will have to be approved by EU leaders in a summit that could be called later this month before its goes for final ratification in the British parliament.