The situation does not settle across the Channel. The Labor opposition broke Friday 17 May discussions with the British Prime Minister to find a solution to implement the Brexit, arguing the "weakness" Theresa May, summoned by his party to prepare for his departure. Labor threw in the towel six days before the European elections in the United Kingdom, where the Labor and Conservative parties will try to limit the damage while a YouGov poll places them respectively in 3rd and 5th place. Voters reproach them for their procrastination on the Brexit, originally scheduled for March 29 but postponed to October 31.
The talks have "gone as far as possible" given the "growing weakness and instability" of the Conservative government, Labor Chief Jeremy Corbyn wrote in a letter to Ms. May. For him, the "eroded authority" of the leader calls into question its ability to "materialize any commitment" made during these talks. Theresa May, she blamed the failure of negotiations to the lack of "common position" among the Labor. "They do not know if they want to concretize the Brexit or organize a second referendum that could prevent it," she blamed during a trip to Bristol (south-west).
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"Six weeks wasted"
The negotiations, initiated at the beginning of April at the initiative of the government, were aimed at finding a compromise on Brexit, after three rejections by MEPs of the divorce agreement concluded in November between Theresa May and Brussels. But the Labor "will continue to oppose it," assured Jeremy Corbyn. These are "six weeks wasted" as "uncertainty paralyzes our economy," said Carolyn Fairbairn, executive director of the powerful CBI employers' organization.
Labor defends retention in a European customs union – which establishes a common customs and trade policy – when Theresa May has always said she wants to leave it to allow her country to freely conclude trade agreements with third countries. Labor "does not exclude" the holding of a second referendum to "avoid an exit without agreement," said their leader, traveling Friday in North London.
"Very clear choice"
Following a meeting on Tuesday with Mr. Corbyn, the Prime Minister announced that she would risk a new vote in early June. MEPs will have to vote on a bill on Brexit that will set the legislative modalities for divorce, not the agreement itself. This sleight of hand allows the Prime Minister to put the Brexit agreement back on the agenda. "When MPs vote, they will be faced with a very clear choice: vote to make Brexit a reality or to shirk again," Theresa May said Friday.
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Whether they adopt or reject this bill, Theresa May will have to prepare to give up the reins. But "the end of Theresa May does not necessarily mean the end of her agreement on Brexit," said Simon Usherwood, a political scientist at the University of Surrey. "This is still the only plan the EU has endorsed and there is no indication that the EU will want to renegotiate with a new Prime Minister. She had already promised in March to resign if her agreement was adopted, but without specifying a date. Thursday, she was summoned during a meeting with the "1922 Committee", responsible for the organization of the Tories, to "agree" in June a "calendar for the election of a new leader of the Conservative Party According to committee chair Graham Brady.
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"In practice, this means that Theresa May will leave by the end of July at the latest to allow the party to choose a new leader in time for the tories conference in September," says Daily Mail, predicting "a race" to power with "more than a dozen candidates" expected. The defender of a hard Brexit Boris Johnson, former mayor of London and former foreign minister, has already confirmed he would be a candidate. The prospect of seeing him in Downing Street, backed by Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party, which dominates voting intentions for the European elections, is a "nightmare" for Scotland, said Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Faced with the possibility of such an alliance, the head of the Scottish nationalists calls for a referendum on the independence of Scotland, which had voted against the Brexit majority.