Although British Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to strike a Brexit deal, it is too early to go on a victory lap, as the UK Parliament continues to throw sand in the prime minister's gears: having blocked the vote on Saturday, UK Parliament Speaker John Bercow refused permission for another vote on PM Johnson’s Brexit agreement on 21 October.
Earlier, the Parliament de facto forced Johnson to request a Brexit extension since he had not got his new deal approved by lawmakers on 19 October. The British PM, an ardent advocate of a withdrawal "no-matter-what", sent three letters to Brussels: the first letter explained that Johnson was complying with the law; the second, a photocopy of the Benn act, was left unsigned by the prime minister; the third one clearly stated that the British PM is determined to deliver Brexit by 31 October and that any further delay would be "corrosive".
Adam Garrie, a UK-based political analyst and director of the think-tank Eurasia Future, has weighed up the prospects of Johnson's deal and explained why the Parliament is dragging its feet when it's come to the EU pull-out.
Sputnik: What's your prognosis for British PM Boris Johnson's plan to deliver Brexit before the deadline? Does it seem realistic now?
Adam Garrie: It will all come down to votes in the House of Commons this week. It is still possible that if Boris Johnson can muster a majority for his Withdrawal Agreement legislation on 22 October that he will be able to deliver Brexit on his terms before the 31st. That said, the government has vowed to pull the legislation if amended by opposition parties. In this sense, it is looking increasingly likely that if Boris Johnson isn't able to pull off a clean majority of his treaty, there will either be a clean break Brexit on the 31 October or else there will be a delay followed by a general election.
Sputnik: What's behind the Parliament's recent attempts to ruin Boris Johnson's Brexit deal? What is the role of the DUP and Labour parties? Are their differences with the PM really substantial or are they just seeking to upend the vote and extend Brexit?
Adam Garrie: We're in a situation where the country is majority pro-Brexit but Parliament is majority pro-Remain. As such, rather than allow for an election under the terms of David Cameron's horrific Fixed Term Parliaments Act, opposition MPs and expelled Conservative MPs have openly conspired to both block Brexit and block an election - thus leaving the country in a highly perilous situation.
Labour are a pro-Remain party to the core and no amount of dishonesty from Jeremy Corbyn can change this. As for the DUP, the party dislikes the terms of Boris Johnson's withdrawal treaty even though the party supports Brexit.
Sputnik: What's your take on Johnson's deal with the EU? Does it address the needs of the British people?
Adam Garrie: It is certainly better than Theresa May's treaty, but Johnson's treaty is still less advantageous than a clean break Brexit that would allow the country to make free trade agreements [FTA] around the world without delay and with no strings attached.
The political declaration, which forms a substantial portion of the treaty, would put severe limitations on Britain's ability to strike a normal FTA with the EU. The treaty would also keep the UK theoretically tied in with the monstrous and dangerous EU foreign policy regime. It is also not clear if Britain would ever fully be able to re-assert its fishing rights and lastly, the ECJ would still have jurisdiction over EU-UK trading relations after the needlessly long transition period.
Sputnik: What was behind the government letter to Donald Tusk that requested an extension of the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, given that Johnson did not sign it?
Adam Garrie: Instead of writing a letter asking for a delay, Boris Johnson merely sent an unsigned photocopy of the infamous Benn Act to Brussels along with an accompanying letter signed by a diplomat explaining the situation in Parliament. Thirdly, Johnson signed his own letter explaining that he does not seek any delay.
Here, Johnson has done all he could to strike back against a Parliament that simply does not want Brexit in any form.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.