Two and a half years after the victory of the "leave" in the referendum, the agreement in extremis with Brussels causes a political crisis in London.
The Brexiters, populists Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in the lead, had trumpeted it. The exit of the European Union would guarantee an enchanting future – sovereignty, prosperity, freedom. The restored glory of the empire, muzzled by an army of petty officials and wiped out by uncontrolled immigration. The presentation, last week, of the negotiated text with Michel Barnier, which stipulates the conditions for a separation, effective March 29, 2019, has laid bare a cumbersome truth: the country loses many benefits of the Single Market, but retains multiple disadvantages of proximity with Brussels, including the submission to the rules of the Single Market due to the headache on the border with Northern Ireland. "It's the loser-loser," observes a French banker in the City. Here are the main pitfalls.
Theresa May in danger
If Theresa May narrowly won the approval of her cabinet, despite high-profile resignations, the Prime Minister faces a revolt of the deputies of her party. Dozens of supporters and opponents of the Brexit call to reject this agreement for opposite reasons. If 48 at least expressed their distrust in writing, or 15% of the 315 members of Parliament affiliated with the Conservative Party, the leader could be forced to resign by secret ballot. At least then to secure the votes of 158 of them, in which case it would be assured of its immunity for a year. "The people had the opportunity to vote. There is no need for a second referendum. People were asked what they thought, they said, "Let's leave the European Union." That's what we're going to do, "she said on November 15th.
In the national hubbub, the business community is failing to make itself heard. SMEs, small businesses or large groups will be the first to suffer the negative effects, dragging their employees into turmoil. Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry, the British Medef, reminded political staff of the priorities to be met on November 19: "Investors are fleeing the country. This agreement is not perfect, but it is a compromise. Everything is better than not at all. Statistics explain this reluctant mobilization of employers, coupled with a call to reason: growth in the United Kingdom, one of the strongest in Europe, has collapsed by half since 2016, despite a depreciation of 15 to 20% pound against the dollar and the euro. The "no deal", a Brexit without framework and guarantees, would have even more devastating effects on the national economy.
The 700,000 people who marched in London on October 20 to demand a new referendum did not convince opposition leader Labor Jeremy Corbyn to take a stand against Brexit. Whoever is suspected of discreetly supporting the separation from the European Union is careful not to encourage a new vote. Especially since Theresa May's setbacks could get him into 10 Downing Street.
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