Just nine days before the planned Brexit date, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put pressure on parliamentarians on Tuesday (October 22nd), calling on them to work "day and night" to adopt the compromise negotiated snatch with the 27 other member countries of the European Union.
MEPs who refused on Saturday to vote on the deal as a whole, their green light now depends on the adoption of technical legislation necessary for its implementation - a process much more complex.
"If Parliament refuses to let Brexit go and decides to postpone everything to January or even later (...), the text will have to be withdrawn and we will have to go to early elections," Boris Johnson told the House. communes.
Two votes are expected Tuesday at the end of the day. One is to provide initial support for the text that translates into the UK law the EU withdrawal agreement. The other is the timing of his review.
Legislative process at no charge
It is this last vote which promises to be the most delicate. The government wants a legislative process at no cost, hoping to finish Thursday. This very short time frame for voting on a 110-page project (with even longer explanatory notes) irritates MPs.
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In case of rejection, the chances of final adoption of the law before the end of the month would be strongly compromised, reinforcing the chances of a "no deal" in a little over a week, likely to cause chaos at the border and shortages.
"Turn the page"
Pleading for support from parliamentarians, Boris Johnson pointed out that positive votes would mark a clear progress towards a smooth exit at the end of the month, without guaranteeing it.
This would allow the United Kingdom to "turn the page" and Parliament to begin to "heal and unite", insisted Johnson before the deputies.
But the opposition is in ambush, ready to draw in the coming days amendments that, if adopted, would radically change the exit agreement, for example by proposing a customs union with the EU or a new referendum.
For lack of a green light from Parliament for the moment, Boris Johnson has been forced by law to request a deadline from the European Union, but he keeps hammering that he is opposed, resolved to fulfill his promise to end to the crisis born of the referendum of 2016, more than three years ago.
"No justification for a new extension", according to Le Drian
Any postponement of the release date will still have to be unanimously approved by the other 27 EU Member States. But "at this point, we believe that there is no justification for a new extension," said Tuesday the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in the National Assembly.
The European Parliament will be the last to vote on the Brexit agreement, after the British MPs. In the event that everything is ready by then in London, an extraordinary session could be organized next week in Brussels, according to the spokesman of the institution.
In the meantime, MEPs adopted on Tuesday additional measures to protect workers, students or fishermen in case of Brexit without any agreement until 2020, as part of the EU's preparations for this scenario.