Will the Brexit take place on Halloween?
Chaos Brexit for Halloween? New prime minister, old problem in London
Boris Johnson is set to become the next UK Prime Minister next week. He is tough on Brexit and demands concessions from the EU, but his demands seem impossible. Some MPs therefore even want to drag the Queen into the dispute over Brexit.
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"Don't waste this time". With these words, EU Council President Donald Tusk warned the British when Brexit was postponed for the second time in April. In the new deadline of October 31, the British Parliament should find a majority for the Brexit agreement - this is how the European Union imagined it. But in the three months since then, the British have not come a step further.
In a few days, Prime Minister Theresa May, who negotiated the Brexit treaty and failed three times in the lower house, is leaving. For them, the Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson, who is well ahead of the second successor candidate Jeremy Hunt in polls in the party decision, is likely to come.
Johnson makes full-bodied promises for changes to the agreement - which the EU categorically excludes. A Brexit without a contract on October 31st, with devastating consequences for the economy, is therefore increasingly likely.
Both Johnson and Hunt want to accept that. According to a report, even the Queen could now be drawn into the political dispute over Britain's exit from the EU.
MPs want to make Queen a supplicant
As the BBC reported on Thursday evening, conservative opponents of an unregulated exit are considering sending 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II to Brussels with a request to extend the Brexit deadline. She is worried that a future Prime Minister Boris Johnson might refuse to accept a parliamentary decision against an unregulated exit.
MEPs could legislate on an application in Brussels to extend the Brexit deadline. However, only the government can apply for an extension.
As the British head of state, the Queen is entitled to attend an EU summit on behalf of Great Britain and to represent her country there, according to the report. You can then apply for an extension of the deadline there. Buckingham Palace did not want to comment on this at the request of the German Press Agency.
Observers consider it to be almost impossible that this will happen. It is an unwritten law in the constitutional monarchy of Great Britain that the royal family strictly stays out of politics. However, the debate over it shows how much the UK's political crisis has now turned into a constitutional crisis.
What is the main problem with the Brexit deal?
Johnson and Hunt identified the so-called backstop as the main problem with the Brexit deal. This is a guarantee clause that is intended to prevent border controls from having to be reintroduced between the British Northern Ireland and the EU member Ireland.
Because that could rekindle the old conflict between Catholic supporters of unification of Ireland and Protestant loyalists. The backstop stipulates that Great Britain remains part of a customs union with the EU until the problem is otherwise resolved. In addition, some of the rules of the European internal market are to apply to Northern Ireland.
The clause is an "instrument of incarceration" for Great Britain in the customs union and internal market, Johnson rumbled in a radio duel earlier this week. He calls for the backstop to be removed and for the Irish border issue to be resolved in a future free trade agreement with the EU only after the country has left the country. "The backstop is dead," assured Hunt.
What is the European Union saying?
The EU is stiffening on the opposite position. "The exit agreement is alive," says German Minister of State Michael Roth. And the EU Commission always repeats the mantra: There will be no renegotiations.
There are vague hopes in Brussels that the British candidates will only be frothing in the election campaign. "It has developed into a political smear theater," thinks, for example, the Green MEP Terry Reintke. "There is a lot of bluffing."
The candidate, who succeeds Theresa May, will be tasked with forming a government by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday. Most likely it will be Boris Johnson. He takes over a government that has only a wafer-thin majority in parliament with just three votes.
A vote on Thursday showed how great the distrust of Johnson is. The MPs voted surprisingly clearly in favor of an amendment that would make it very difficult for Johnson to temporarily shut down parliament for a no-deal solution.
Does Johnson have a plan?
The former London mayor and ex-foreign minister is probably counting on the EU to give in when it becomes clear how serious he is about a no-deal Brexit. Especially the EU member Ireland, which would have to take care of the border controls with the British Northern Ireland, will give way, hope the Johnson supporters.
So far there is nothing to suggest. The EU insists that at best the political declaration on the future relationship between the two sides is still up for debate. Johnson is expected to tour European capitals in the summer to chisel open the EU's previously rock-solid front.
Will Parliament in London prevent a no-deal Brexit?
Parliament's options are limited. The summer break begins just one day after Johnson is expected to take office. The showdown is unlikely to happen until September or even October. The MPs would have to seize control of the parliamentary calendar and force the government by law to postpone the exit from the EU.
If that does not succeed, the only thing left for the pro-European rebels in the Tory faction to do is overthrow their own government. But it is unclear who would actually be ready to take this extraordinary step. The inhibition threshold is high.
Will there be a new election in Great Britain soon?
In view of the messy situation in parliament, an early election is now considered likely. The question is whether it will take place before or after leaving the EU. There have already been signals from parts of the EU that the Brexit date on October 31 could be postponed again for an election.
"I am ready to postpone the exit date again if more time is needed for a good reason," says future EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The prospect of having to begin as crisis manager of tensions on the Irish island, truck jams on the English Channel and production losses in industry when taking office on November 1st is not tempting either.
However, Johnson has ruled out a postponement of the Brexit date. Like his rival Hunt, he does not want an election before leaving, for fear of losing votes to Nigel Farage's Brexit party.
On the other hand, Johnson could hardly pull through the no-deal Brexit he threatened without a clear majority in parliament. Only a new electoral mandate could secure such a drastic step. (dpa / thp) © dpa
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