By Nze Nwabueze Akabogu
In about four months from now and precisely on 29th March 2019 Britain will formally terminate her membership of the fifty one years old European union (EU) amidst great political tension and uncertainty. At the moment the U.K appears to be in a serious dilemma and terrible quagmire on her future occasioned by the current highly confused and volatile political situation in the country.
The highly controversial Brexit deal tagged “Chequers proposal” recently signed by the European Union leaders at Brussels is certainly on the front burner of the current British political debate and which has obviously reached the breaking point in the unfolding political drama. The diehard “Brexiteers” particularly within the governing Conservative Party were already calling for the head of the British Prime Minister Theresa May for what they considered as her shoddy negotiations of the Brexit deal with the European leaders which they termed “a complete sell out”.
The British Parliament (House of Commons) is due to vote in a crucial debate on the so-called Theresa May’s “chequers deal” on 11th December, 2018. According to political watchers at Westminster, the Brexit deal obviously appears to be dead on arrival even as many MPs particularly among the back benchers within the governing Conservative Party were already set to vote against the “obnoxious” Brexit deal. And only recently many senior Ministers in May’s Cabinet had to resign from their posts due to their outright rejection of the deal they felt was a monumental betrayal of the British people who had voted decisively to leave the European Union (EU). One of the senior cabinet Ministers that had to quit his job was the flamboyant and irrepressible former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who was an outspoken critic of May’s Brexit deal.
It will be recalled however, that Johnson was one of the major Brexit or anti E.U campaigners when Theresa May then a senior cabinet Minister in David Cameron’s government was an ardent supporter of “remain” or pro E.U. campaign during the historic referendum in 2016.
It is instructive to note also that Prime Minister May only became a later “Convert” to Brexit movement when she took over the reigns of power from her predecessor Cameron who had vigorously campaigned for “remain or pro E.U but dramatically lost the battle hence his sudden downfall. Theresa May appears to be facing a similar predicament as a potential “Brexit casualty” in her current unenviable position even as she has no more room for maneuvering out of the looming political Tsunami that is already set to sweep her out of power.
On the other side of the political spectrum, members of the opposition Labour Party in Parliament led by Jerremy Corbyn had already taken a strong and unequivocal position to vote collectively against the Brexit deal in Parliament.
Nevertheless, the beleaguered Prime Minister May had so far remained defiant insisting that the deal was the best Britain could ever get in the present circumstances. She had warned her fellow compatriots that the worse case scenario of “no deal” or “crash out” arrangement would be catastrophic for Britain in the event of Parliament rejecting the Brexit deal in its present form already signed by the European Leaders.
Meanwhile, Theresa May had carried her message to the people traversing the entire length and breadth of the United Kingdom in her desperate effort to sell her Brexit deal directly to the British people. She had already visited Wales and later Scotland that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the E.U during the Brexit referendum. Scotland is planning to hold yet another referendum for her independence from the U.K which will certainly offer her the political leverage to maintain her present economic ties with the European Union once she gains her independence from Britain.
Political pundits however, had predicted that it would be a near impossibility or rather an uphill task for Theresa May to muster enough votes in Parliament for the approval of her Brexit deal given the open hostility and rebellion by members of her own party against the “unpopular” deal.
However, two possible case scenarios seem to be playing out in the whole Brexit Saga or drama. Should the British Parliament reject the Brexit deal in its present form (a real possibility) then the first case scenario might lead to a second referendum which had already gained wide spread national support by the British people. While the second case scenario might lead to the instant dissolution of the British Parliament and subsequent snap general election.
In both Scenarios, Theresa May’s Premiership would certainly be in serious jeopardy as majority members of her Conservative Party both in Parliament and outside had already lost confidence completely in her leadership and it is only a matter of time before her final exit as the British Prime Minister. Theresa May’s sheer political bravado and brilliant rhetoric had so far kept her going and precariously hanging unto power.
The historic moment has therefore arrived for the British people to once again take their collective destiny into their own hands and the day of decision is already at hand when the British Parliament is expected to vote either to accept or reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the European Leaders.
The ball is now in the court of the British Parliament to act decisively in the overall interest of the deeply polarized, highly confused and traumatized Britons
Nze Nwabueze Akabogu (JP) is a regular Public Affairs Commentator and Analyst.
He wrote from Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State.