Draft Withdrawal Agreement shows EU is aware of political weakness of British government
London, 23 Nov. 2018 - The mandate of Mrs May as PM relies de facto upon her ability of reaching a Brexit final deal. A no deal or lack of support from the British Parliament to the Brexit Draft agreement would certainly lead Prime Minister’s office to an end. Therefore, as this was a matter of life or death in relation to resisting in power, May accepted the terms of agreement set by EU negotiators who certainly appreciated the weak political position of the counterpart.
The Draft Agreement in fact posticipates main key relations to future agreements, or year to year temporary agreements which terms can vary; the draft is focused on the point transition period is extensible (though this will certainly come at a cost) and agreements in key areas are expressed in statements of intention and fostered to further agreements, although sealed as legally binding.
But we do not have to analyse the draft from the UK perspective only. EU upcoming elections might have determined the necessity to close the Brexit chapter on time in order to show a ‘happy end’ and conclude the contested and difficult exit right before electoral campaigns start. Independentism coupled with populism is in fact a threat to the Union with new parties and movements pressing to replace traditional coalitions blamed of backing financial and multinationals interests ahead of the citizens’ and communities’ needs and rights.
Amid this international political environment a ‘no deal’ with the UK would ‘go viral’ labelled as a failure of EU institutions currently in charge, with the risk of reinforcing right/left populist and eurosceptic parties now racing to conquer Brussels and ready to impact EU political groups, and this is what current EU institutions want to avoid, at any cost.
Although under economic, budgetary, defence, security contributions UK membership is important to the Union, we have to take into consideration the political contingency: both Conservative and Labour leaderships are eurosceptic. Jeremy Corbyn stated: “in case of a second referendum I don’t know how I would vote”. Now, whether or not this is a statement aimed at securing the votes of leavers to Labour in view of next national elections, what finally counts from EU Parliament and Commission perspective is the role of British MEPs: if at this stage UK remains and participate EU elections, the new British MEPs will have to represent the stances of leavers and eurosceptics therefore adding more fuel to the upcoming eurocritic and populist political waves shaking EU member states.
These domestic and European political factors made up a non-definite Draft signed by two governments tagged with expiry date: EU in May and May possibly soon.