By Hanif Ghaffari

Brexit deadlock in London 

January 26, 2019

TEHRAN - The negative vote by the Parliament in England to the Theresa May plan to leave the European Union has created a difficult and complicated situation in London.

People like Boris Johnson and conservative figures demand a “hard Brexit” and a clean break from the EU, and there are those like Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn who call for early elections and the withdrawal of May from power.

British PM May is trying to present Plan B to the Parliament, although the plan does not seem to meet the demands of the opposition. Beyond the turmoil and controversy over Brexit, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling for a second Brexit Referendum and considers Brexit “the single biggest threat to the United Kingdom” and wants people to “rise up” against it. 

London has of late become the focus of opposition to the ideas, policies, and tactics of British politicians on Brexit as British citizens are faced with an uncertain future. The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29. They know all too well that a hard exit or a no-deal Brexit will have a dire outcome for the UK.

No wonder that those like Corbyn stress the need for a clear agreement with Europe. British citizens are aware that a “soft Brexit” agreement with Europe, in the style of PM May, will only lead to the loss of many privileges for London. At the same time, holding a referendum again in Britain will also lead to a new crisis in the country, and will outrage the supporters of Brexit deal.

Each one of the options will certainly have consequences for London and neither one will offer a stable and improved situation for the British. In other words, Brexit is the UK frustration point with Europe and the international system.

Over time, the UK public frustration will grow over the Brexit crisis. It matters little whether the Labor Party or Conservative Party holds the top political and executive positions in the UK. What matters is the complex situation that London will face for at least a decade.

European leaders play a game with regards to Brexit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior European officials have repeatedly argued that with the British PM failure of Brexit in the British Parliament, there will be no further talks on this issue, and Europe does not intend to give fresh concessions to London.

Nonetheless, within a few hours of voting in the British Parliament, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced that if May’s plan fails in the Parliament, he will negotiate with Britain further.

The European dual approach has greatly boosted opponents of May’s Brexit in the British Parliament, an issue that has enraged May.  Obviously, March won’t mark the end of Brexit in England and Europe but will be a starting point for conflicts between Europe and England in the international system. The conflict will only weaken Britain in terms of domestic and foreign policy as well as its economy.