It took them a mightily long time, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leaders of the European Union have finally reached a Brexit deal with each other. Johnson will enable parliament to vote on the deal come Saturday.
For Johnson, this is — of course — great news. Many people started to doubt his ability to get this done, even though it’s clear that both the EU and Britain are fed up with the negotiations and want to move on. However, until today it seemed that neither side was prepared to actually compromise, which is, it goes without saying, rather vital in any serious negotiations.
That problem has been overcome, or so it seems. And just in time too, because the deadline for Brexit is October 31. If a Brexit deal hasn’t been reached and approved before that date, Johnson will be forced to request yet another delay. This because Parliament earlier adopted a law that rules out a No-Deal Brexit.
Johnson confirmed rumors that a deal had been reached earlier today. “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” he said. “Now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime, and our environment.”
In other words, Parliament will get to vote on the deal on Saturday. Without their support for it, it cannot be implemented… and Johnson will once again have to go back to Brussels to reopen negotiations (and request a delay).
With regards to Parliament, the DUP — the Irish party that supports the Tory government — has already warned that the three main issues — customs, consent and VAT — have not been resolved. This means that the DUP is likely to vote against Johnson’s Brexit deal… making it more difficult for Johnson to get it done.
Unless, that is, Johnson can convince some Labour MPs with a Brexit constituency to support him this one time.
Although such a course of action is normally unlikely, Brexit is an entirely different affair altogether. Quite some Labour MPs fear that by preventing Brexit from happening, they may very well lose their seats at the next elections. Earlier this month, 19 Labour MPs signed a letter to Brussels asking EU-leaders to quickly reach a deal with Johnson so they could vote for it. If those 19 Labourites do as promised, Johnson should be able to get his deal passed, as long as he’s also backed by Conservative Brexit hardliners and the renegade Conservative MPs who were expelled from the Tories earlier this year.
From the looks of it, then, Johnson finally has a shot of getting Brexit done. Let’s hope so. This nightmare has gone on long enough. It’s time for Britain’s political leaders to come together and carry out the will of the people.