London 13 March 2019 - Conservatives are making conditional to a deal the request of a short extension to Art50. Being already into a deal to ask an extension to the EU is not a legal requirement. A request to the EU for a long term extension requires, instead, a clear purpose, which can only be, as things stand, a new referendum.   

The main concerning aspects of the no-deal vote put off the table by four votes only, are the government no longer in control of the dynamic of Brexit and the declaration of Jeremy Corbyn who, at only two weeks from 29th March, is  proposing crossparty talks to find consensus around Labour's deal (customs union) or other alternatives (included a public vote) besides Keir Starmer outlined, instead, a more straightforward path to define a clear purpose for asking the delay to the EU by scheduling an amendment for the second referendum. Some MPs see also the suspension of Art50 as a possible solution.

The EU 27 might not be interested in granting a long term extension of Art50

Within dynamics making clear Brexit is, and has always been, a domestic political mean for government, far-right and part of opposition to pursue their own goals, (regardless leave or remain positions), the only way out now is to give the EU the meaningful, valid, motivation to allow MEPs unanimously, as required by the law, to vote for an extension of Art 50.

Besides UK domestic political turmoil, there are at least two reasons why EU 27 might not vote unanimously to grant a long term extension which might re-enter UK in the next EU legislature by voting at the elections in May: the main one is the already ongoing race to gain British MEPs seats and political space. The second is competition: although UK exit might cause a short term economic damage, the long term advantage of companies and multinationals relocation and the move of part of financial sector and its profits to continental Europe, might persuade some countries, and not only the Eastern European ones, to allow a short term delay only.

On the political side of the matter, as reported by mainstream media, the EU official position after Tuesday 12 March rejection of May’s deal, is that one remains the only option. That means the current EU establishment would not take into consideration Labour’s ‘customs union’ deal already voted down by British MPs.

As the domestic parliamentary path does not ensure any chance nor guarantees, and a short term delay of Art50 will not work out the structural issue of a British Parliament stuck into numbers not enough to pass a no confidence vote, the only way out is a second referendum: this would work out non just the issue of Brexit, but also the internal politics as at that point a shift to remain will no longer make the current government representative of the will of the majority.

We have  reached a stage to which the EU27 decide on British future, and this is the paradox, and also the deep lesson, of Brexit thus exiting more than 30 treaties puts the UK in a position of vulnerability among an international community organised, from the end of the Second World War onward, into regional international organisations.

Yvtte Cooper

Ian Blackford

Conservatives in disarray. Corbyn looks for crossparty agreements at few days from 29th March:
while Keir Starmer outlines an amendment on 2nd referendum