After the delay, the deluge?
As has been widely reported, in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to a deal that would delay Brexit (which, as you know by now, would be the U.K.’s exit from the European Union) if her Brexit plan is again voted down by lawmakers.
As a result, noted The Wall Street Journal, it’s pretty much a done deal that no done deal means the March-end Brexit will be delayed.
The agreement seems to crystallize what the report termed a “weakening grip” wielded by May over how Brexit gets done. For it seems that everything, again, at a very late date, is still on the table, ranging from Brexit with a deal, Brexit sans deal or even … no Brexit at all.
However, in what might be viewed as handicapping the odds of a no-deal Brexit, that option seems a bit less likely, if currency moves are a barometer of general sentiment. The WSJ reported that the British pound has moved to its highest level as measured against the dollar since late last year, and now stands at about $1.32.
Looking at the next steps, March 12 is the date that Parliament is slated to vote on the terms of another May deal that would define how the U.K. would leave the EU. If there is a rejection of that bill, then the following day they will vote “yes” or “no” on leaving with “no deal” in place. But if that option is rejected – we’d call it no deal on no deal – then on March 14 there would be a vote on whether the whole thing should be delayed, which means Brexit would get pushed out (May has said that delay would last no longer than three months).
The May/Parliament agreement this week at least seems to grant a reprieve from the March 29 deadline that would have brought about Brexit with no deal, and with no real knowledge of how trade would be conducted between the U.K. and the EU.
However, as May noted, as quoted in the financial publication, “an extension cannot take no-deal off the table.” Parliament may, however, opt for a longer extension. Then again, too, May’s request for an extension would have to be formally made and approved by the EU’s 27 members.
Uncertainty is proving to be a drag on progress, in terms of getting Brexit done. Consider the fact, as noted by the WSJ, that a U.K. government report has stated a third of “critical projects” that would help with a no-deal transition are behind schedule.