Brexit deal still faces obstacles

October 22, 2019

After all, the representatives of the European Union and the UK government as a final point agreed on a deal for the UK to leave the European Union just in time for it to be placed before the EU summit in Brussels. Ever since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had sworn to leave the EU by 31st October regardless of losing a number of votes in the House of Commons and also the ostensible Benn Act which forces Mr. Johnson to demand a three-month delay to Article 50 if Parliament doesn’t vote to back a deal by 19th October. Mr. Johnson had said that he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than ask the EU for an extension. After getting a deal agreed in Brussels, Mr. Johnson’s biggest obstacle at the moment is to get this deal approved by the UK Parliament and get enough members to vote in its favor. That in itself seems to be a tall order given that he leads a minority government and one of his party’s steadfast supporters, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland has said that it cannot support the deal as it now stands. More about the number aggravating in the House of Commons later. The opposition Labor Party, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats have all said they will be pitted against the deal. Thus, how do the numbers pile up in favor of Boris Johnson’s deal? , Labor rebels could be crucial to Mr. Johnson’s hopes of getting the deal approved. A handful of Labor MPs are staunchly pro-Brexit and there is a group of around 20 others who would want exit from the EU with a deal. Some of them could vote with the Tories. It is that close and tight a call. In the 650-seat parliament, exclusive of the Speaker, the three deputy speakers and members of the Sinn Fein who do not show up in the parliament, the number of eligible voters comes down to 639, with the Conservatives requiring 320 votes to get a simple majority. The conservatives have 287 seats and that is why the votes of the 10 Democratic Unionist Party members are so crucial. And then there are the Conservative ‘exiles’ who were expelled in September for refusing to support the Tory plan to leave on 31st October, with or without a deal. It is commonly believed that that this new deal struck by Boris Johnson will be overruled by the thinnest of margins and he will have to ask for an extension. But there is no assurance that the EU will favor such an extension. They will perceptibly ask questions as to what this extension will serve.

A handful of Labor MPs are staunchly pro-Brexit and there is a group of around 20 others who would want exit from the EU with a deal. Some of them could vote with the Tories.

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