A senior British cabinet member has warned that the UK is likely to hit an impasse in the process of withdrawing from the European Union now that there are just over one hundred days left before the Britain leaves the bloc.
“Brexit is in danger of getting stuck – and that is something that should worry us all,” pensions minister Amber Rudd wrote in Saturday’s Daily Mail newspaper.
“If MPs (lawmakers) dig in against the prime minister’s deal and then hunker down in their different corners, none with a majority, the country will face serious trouble,” she added.
Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal amid fears that it would be voted down by the MPs. Many expect that she would fail in her post-Christmas bid to gain parliament’s approval for the deal.
May traveled to Brussels to attend an EU summit to get privileges from the bloc that could enhance her chances of going through the British parliament with her Brexit plan. However, she failed to secure a quick breakthrough in talks.
Most of the lawmakers want the Brexit deal renegotiated because it partially ties Britain to EU regulations, however, the bloc says it will not renegotiate the deal.
EU President Donald Tusk said Friday he had no mandate to reopen negotiations with the UK, dealing a devastating blow to May’s plan.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said parliament could still back May’s agreement with additional assurances, noting such clarifications were possible because EU countries knew no deal would be a disaster for them too.
“When the dust has settled, the only way we’re going to get this through the House of Commons ... is to have a version of the deal that the government has negotiated,” Hunt told BBC radio. “I don’t think the EU could be remotely sure that if we don’t find a way through this we wouldn’t end up with no deal.”
Rudd, who is leaning towards having a second referendum, also said a no-deal scenario “mustn’t be allowed to happen.”
“We need to try something different. Something that people do in the real world all the time, but which seems so alien in our political culture – to engage with others,” she said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
In addition to Rudd, finance and treasury minister Philip Hammond was also promoting the idea of a second Brexit referendum, while interior minister Sajid Javid and three other senior cabinet members insisted that the government should work on its plans for a no-deal Brexit.