Current Affairs
University lecturer believes yesterday’s vote in British Parliament was complete rejection of Brexit deal

The Director of the European Studies Institute at the University of Malta, Dr Mark Harwood, said that what happened in the House of Commons was a complete rejection of the Brexit deal. Dr Harwood said that one of the possibilities is that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement and starts being considered a third country.

“Everything they have agreed upon to date, including that they need to pay a sum of money to leave the EU, all falls through and they will leave with no deal. It will all fall through because the British are members of the World Trade Organisation, and they will once again fall under the arrangements of the WTO. This means that they will have Customs once again.”

He believes that PM May will ask for an extension since only 70 days are left for the UK to leave. Asked about another referendum,  Dr Harwood believes that Brexit one way or another will happen.

“If Theresa May does not manage to go to Brussels and negotiate a new deal, especially regarding the backstop, I think they will have to stop Brexit. Not so that it won’t happen but to have more time to negotiate, and I think there is more of a chance that it will go to an election because none of the parties is in favour of another referendum.”

While the idea of an extension appears to be attracting the most interest, the representative for the European Commission in Malta,  Dr Helena Grech, does not believe this should happen.  “Since the EU are already telling her that it is impossible to get a better deal than this, I don’t see the  sense of asking for an extension.”

Dr Grech said that the lack of agreement has raised a lot of questions about what will happen to British citizens in European countries and to those from the EU who reside in the UK.  She expressed her concern that the issue will have an effect on the MEP elections. “There are parties who are using Brexit to make their demands. If the UK will not have left by the 26 May, they will take part in the European elections as well”.

She pointed out that according to the European Court of Justice, Brexit can be withdrawn, however, this would shed a bad light on the principles of democracy because the Government would have gone against the will of the electorate.

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