Even by the manic standards of modern politics, it has been a busy week for the Brexit talks and Prime Minister Theresa May: an agreement that seemed closed on Monday, seemed far away on Thursday. If you try to catch up, here are the key things we have learned.
1. The May cabinet has not agreed what it wants from the Brexit
May's main ministers were, and still are, fundamentally divided over whether Britain is better served by the proximity or distance of the European Union and any attempt to take a decision runs the risk of seeing one way or the other. This uncomfortable situation was confirmed by Finance Minister Philip Hammond during a parliamentary hearing.
"The cabinet has had general discussions about our Brexit negotiations, but we have not specifically mandated a final state position," he told lawmakers. on Wednesday. May's office said later that this discussion would take place before the end of the year.
2. The Irish are willing to get tough, all of them
This week's agreement stalled on the question of how to simultaneously satisfy three incompatible points.
- No border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- Unregulated differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom
- UK should have a regulatory regime different from the EU
The Irish government is Hold firm on the first point. Neither the Irish allies of May in the Democratic Unionist Party nor its conservative party will bow in the second. The main pro-Brexit wing in the cabinet insists on the third. May expected the politicians on both sides of the border to be flexible, but they did not agree.
However, May does not give up. On Wednesday night, it was learned that he was preparing a new text to present to Ireland within 24 hours.
3. Theresa May could have misinterpreted the state of mind
It is not so much that she can not reconcile irreconcilable positions, but that the Irish positions on these issues are passionate and known for a long time. The Irish government says that a difficult Brexit, outside the single market and the customs union, would damage its economy. The DUP spent years negotiating in a political environment where some of its opponents were prepared to place bombs to get away with it: "The party plays hard and likes high profile stunts to assure its own followers that it is fighting a lot", said Eurasia Group. Mujtaba Rahman Why is May's government surprised that people remain in their public positions?
4. The EU takes the side of Ireland
One of the hopes of the United Kingdom was that the rest of the EU would put pressure on Ireland to agree to bring things to fruition. That does not seem to have happened yet, although Brussels is doing everything possible to help May. The EU finally agrees with the country that stays in the bloc, rather than with the one that is leaving. The United Kingdom repeatedly makes the mistake of thinking that other countries, including [Alemania] will act in their own economic interest and break their rank instead of remaining firmly united with the rest of the bloc.
5. The United Kingdom has not evaluated the economic impact of Brexit
This was a surprise. For months, Parliament has been trying to see the detailed analysis sector by sector of leaving the EU to which Brexit Secretary David Davis continued to refer. After having finally lost the battle to keep it a secret, Davis announced Wednesday that he did not really exist. Doing so would be useless, he said, because Brexit will be a "paradigm shift" for the economy and its impact will be impossible to foresee. While some lawmakers wanted to censor Davis for cheating Parliament, it seems that after all he will not face trials for contempt of Parliament.
Meanwhile, other impact evaluations are not lacking. A report from the House of Lords said on Thursday that a Brexit "without treatment" would leave the UK "deeply damaged".
6. No evaluation on the impact of leaving the customs union
When asked if any assessment had been made on the impact of leaving the EU customs union, Davis replied that there had been "no quantitative evaluation" . If a new book by political journalist Tim Shipman, "Fall Out", is correct, the cabinet was not even consulted on the issue: he says the decision was made by May and one of his chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy, in September of 2016, but then stayed away from the ministers for months.
7. Tories fervently in favor of Brexit are getting anxious
On Tuesday, Davis tried to resolve the Irish question by proposing that the whole UK would keep its regulations aligned with those of the EU. That provoked both the private complaints of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the public complaints of supporters of a tougher Brexit. In the next 24 hours, pro-Brexit activists, including former leader Iain Duncan Smith and potential management candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg, warned May not soften his position.
8. The so-called Remnants are also being stimulated
But the anti-Brexit Tories are also up in arms. The branded "Mutineers" on the cover of the Telegraph newspaper last month have become determined, rather than intimidated. "What the incumbent has done is make us even more determined," said former education secretary Nicky Morgan. His colleague Anna Soubry, asked why they had not yet voted against the government in his Brexit Bill, responded that so far, "we have the concessions we need." Both agreed that the confrontation will come on December 20, when the government will try to establish the date of Brexit in stone.
9. Everything is fine for the main opposition party
The Labor Party, like the Conservatives, is divided over the Brexit, but being an opponent helps. Their leaders can sit down and watch May rate their own goals without needing to be more specific about their position, for example, the customs union. The research published this week shows that the public thinks that the negotiation is being mismanaged, and blames May. Labor's deliberately obscure position of criticizing the government without saying what it would be headed for instead is paying off with some analysts who are already mentally preparing for early elections as early as 2018.
10. But not so good for business …
Uncertainty about Brexit is throwing a cloud over the British corporation, which affects hiring, construction and investment, the main business lobby group in the country warned on Wednesday. The confederation of the president of the British industry, Paul Drechsler, said that the citizens of the EU will leave and the companies change of work and investments to the outside unless May marks a clear direction, and soon.
– With the help of Svenja O & # 39; Donnell and Alex Morales