The Trade minister of Britain, Liam Fox, stated that there exists a 50-50 probability that Brexit may not pull through if parliament doesn’t accept the divorce deal of the government with the EU next month. Fox, a top supporter of exiting the EU, while speaking to a media outlet said that if they do not vote for it, he isn’t sure that he would give Brexit higher than 50-50.
At the moment, there is barely three months left till the UK is due to exit the EU which is scheduled to happen on March 29, and the Brexit deal of Theresa May is opening up several possibilities ranging from a Brexit where there is no deal to calling off the Brexit.
Earlier in the month, she pulled out a planned vote on the deal after she admitted that parliament wouldn’t accept it. Lawmakers are reportedly prepared to vote on this deal in the week leading up from January 14th. Fox is one of the leading pro-Brexit politicians in the British cabinet. He said that there is just one way to be fully certain that Britain would exit the EU and that is only if the politicians vote in support of May’s deal. He further stated that voting against the deal would destroy the bond of trust existing between both the electorate and the parliament.
He stated that his preference tilts more towards a deal that is short rather than one which is no Brexit. His statement came sometime after he pleaded in a speech that other MPs should back the withdrawal agreement. During the speech, he said that those in politics wouldn’ always enjoy the luxury of getting done the things they want, but there is a duty that they should do the right thing for their country.
An Institute of Economic Affairs’ top lawyer, Victoria Hewson, warned earlier in October that the job of Mr. Fox was getting more difficult as a result of uncertainty surrounding Brexit. She avoided the speculations as to whether the frustrations on his end might cause him to quit. She, however, said that the current negotiations coupled with the process’ open-ended nature made it difficult for him to function in his present role.
She further stated that there is a possibility that he is trying to make a case and highlight the opportunities that would exist in a situation where the UK has the freedom to carry out trade deals. However, it is quite difficult to determine the duration of the waiting period before that happens.
She noted that things like that take a while, but countries would have been able to persevere if there was a definite end date as well as an actual time when the negotiations would conclude. She reiterated the fact that the uncertainty is generally affecting the morale.
Absence Of Parliamentary Majority
In November, Malcolm Lowe warned that May couldn’t afford to have Fox’s support as he is one of the leading pro-Brexit ministers among others including Penny Mordaunt, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Chris Grayling.
May has referred to her Brexit deal as being the only way they can exit the EU and have an existing agreement. However, the proposals she has may not proceed through the Parliament. According to IEA’s director-general, Mark Littlewood, the problem appears to be that no parliamentary majority can support any single proposal.
Reports have it that the government has plans to spend about 120 million euros on chartering ferries to make cross-channel congestion easier should there be a no-deal Brexit. At the moment, they have signed contracts with top ferry companies as they have fears that customs checks could cause Cover and Folkestone to get clogged. The Transport Department already confirmed that they have signed contracts that would go into effect should the outcome of the negotiations be a no-deal Brexit.