Academic on Further Extension of Article Fifty: Brexit Always Going to Be Difficult

A vote on whether to hold a general election on the 12th of December has been held in the British parliament, as the UK looks to end its ongoing political deadlock. Dr Connal Parr, Lecturer in History at Northumbria University, expressed his views on the matter.

Sputnik: Would a general election be a good thing for the Labour Party?

Dr Connal Parr: Corbyn is aware of the fact that if the election comes on the 12th; then what can happen is that it can be fought on the basis that the Conservative’s trump card was that they were going to get Brexit done, but another extension to Article Fifty has been agreed this morning amongst EU members to the 31st of January 2020, so Corbyn could perhaps see this as something he can get some mileage out of.

Sputnik: Should Corbyn resign if Labour suffered a bad result in a general election?

Dr Connal Parr: If you’d asked me that question about potential successors to Corbyn about a year ago; a kind of person who would command respect in a parliamentary sense would be Keir Stamer, but it seems for me that the person who has emerged as  a serious  contender, who had previously stood don’t forget against Gordon Brown in 2007, is John McDonnell.

This would be quite difficult for a lot of people, because McDonnell has a very serious backbench left-wing profile over the years, but it strikes me that he’s worked very hard to hone a certain media image in recent times, and he seems to have won over a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t have thought he was a contender.

It would probably be between McDonnell, Stamer and I imagine a female candidate of some kind, probably someone like Diane Abbott, but I do think it would be between those two men.

Sputnik: Will Brexit finally be delivered in 2020?

Dr Connal Parr: I think that we are now leaving in January 2020, and again it was always going to be complicated like this, it was always going to be very difficult and convoluted for us, so it’s understandable that it’s gone in this direction.

The reason why that’s happened is that the UK parliament has averted a no-deal scenario, which would have happened this Thursday, so having avoided that; they have to find out some workable exit, which is still allowing people to deliver on the democratic result of June 2016.

In many ways it will be important to a lot of people both in the Labour Party and Conservatives that some form of Brexit is delivered, and if the UK decides that it’s not a good situation; perhaps in the future the UK could rethink its relationship and possibly someway down the line consider a way back in, it’s just a case of trying something different.

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