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United Kingdom: extension, the third?


On the subject, the London Parliament is broadly in agreement, but a Brexit timetable is missing. So should be extended again. But for how long?

Success and defeat were close to Boris Johnson this evening in the British Parliament. The House of Commons voted in favor of the Prime Minister's Brexit bill, but its tight schedule was rejected by MPs. What's next? The most important questions and answers:

What has Parliament decided?

In principle, members of the London House of Commons approved a plan for Britain's exit from the EU this Tuesday. 329 MPs supported the Prime Minister's Brexit bill, including 19 Labor MPs. This is already a success for Boris Johnson. His predecessor Theresa May failed three times with a vote on her deal, which she had agreed with the EU.

But the jubilation over parliamentary approval did not last long. Because the Parliament rejected directly after the first vote in a second vote the highly ambitious schedule with which Johnson wanted to complete the legislative process in just over two days. MEPs criticized the fact that they barely had time to deal with the more than 100-page law.

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How does Johnson react?

Following the rejection of the accelerated procedure, Johnson announced that Parliament's deliberations on the proposed legislation would be suspended for the time being. This will make it hard for the Prime Minister to fulfill his ultimate goal of leading Britain from the European Union on 31 October.

The Parliament had already committed Johnson in September with the so-called Benn Act to avoid leaving without agreements and to ask the EU for further extension. Johnson now said, "The EU must now decide how to respond to Parliament's request for a deadline extension." Until this decision is made, Johnson wants the legislative process to be suspended.

British House of Commons - Boris Johnson suspends Brexit legislation Parliament has rejected the timetable for the British Prime Minister's exit from the EU. Johnson is still against a deadline extension. © Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Before the vote, Johnson had also threatened to call for a new election should MPs vote against his tight schedule. But he said after the defeat but nothing more. Nevertheless, an early election is not excluded. Much depends now on how long a possible extension could be from Brussels.

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What could the EU suggest?

A clear statement by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker or by EU leaders did not exist immediately after the votes in London. However, EU Council President Donald Tusk announced that he would recommend extending the Brexit deadline to the 27 remaining EU member states. He also suggested that the decision be taken "by written procedure". Then no EU special summit would have to be convened.

It is open until when the Brexit could be postponed. One possibility is for the EU to grant an extension until the end of January, as provided for in the Benn Act. This would have to Boris Johnson accept. If the EU proposes a longer or shorter deadline, the proposal goes to the lower house. Since an overwhelming majority of MEPs do not want to leave without an agreement, they are unlikely to reject the EU proposal. If it comes to a longer delay, Johnson would have enough time to actually initiate a new election.

But Johnson wants the shortest possible time. Then he could continue to threaten with an unregulated exit and maintain the pressure on MPs to agree to his deal. Members of the Oppostion have already announced several amendments that could severely delay the entire legislative process or fundamentally change Johnson's plan. It is possible to request a stay in a customs union with the EU or to have the population vote on the deal in a second referendum.

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How likely is a No Deal?

Boris Johnson pointed to the votes in the lower house on the fact that the probability of an unregulated exit has risen again. However, it can not be assumed that the remaining 27 EU member states will reject a further extension. Then it would actually come on 31 October to a hard Brexit without an agreement that the EU so far absolutely wanted to prevent and has even renegotiated the Brexit agreement.

Even Chancellor Angela Merkel had already indicated that the federal government would not refuse a Brexit-delay. It would be the third extension that exists for Brexit. Two had already requested and received Prime Minister Theresa May.

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Source: zeit

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