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  Opinion   Edit  17 Jan 2019  Deal or not, Brexit is end of globalisation

Deal or not, Brexit is end of globalisation

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 18, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Jan 18, 2019, 12:00 am IST

The truism that “no man is an island” and not even an island can isolate itself from the world applies to Britain today.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons in London after losing a vote on her Brexit plan on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)
 British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons in London after losing a vote on her Brexit plan on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)

Britain’s PM Theresa May might have narrowly survived a no-confidence 325-306, but Brexit’s fate remains unclear as a March deadline looms. She remains PM after a major threat to her government was overcome with rebel Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party MPs rallying behind her. But unless she finds a compromise to ward off a disastrous “no-deal” Brexit, Britain faces a longer period of uncertainty while embroiling the EU in a fog over Britain’s compulsions in withdrawing. The red lines the PM and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are drawing over an alternate deal are bound to come in the way as time runs out on a parliamentary deadline for the PM to present her “Plan B”. The Irish backstop issue, triggered by the porous border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, will be a stumbling block that the UK must remove.

A very serious blow was struck at Ms May’s authority as PM in an overwhelming House of Commons vote on Tuesday that rejected her EU withdrawal agreement, a deal she worked on with focus for almost her entire two and a half years in power. Never in British history has a PM suffered such humiliation, with her government losing by a 230-vote margin. So emphatic was this 432-202 rejection that a modified deal with Brussels may not pass muster, which means the UK will have to go back to the drawing board to find an entirely new method to effect the divorce from the EU with even a modicum of order. The difficulty in finding a parliamentary majority for any alternative Brexit deal will be severely inhibited by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition appearing to put party politics ahead of the national interest.

 

At stake in the larger issue is not the question of how diminished the British PM is and whether she will survive this tricky dilemma of Brexit Britain and the European Union. The hidden hand behind the calls for a “no-deal” or “hard” Brexit is the kind of nationalism that has been rising in most recent times along with dollops of populism in the United States and Europe, and elsewhere too. Support for “nation first” calls and a total red line on immigration are behind the desire of the British people to leave the EU.

The issue has been complicated by the wishes of some to walk out of the EU freely without accepting any Brexit-related cost. The assertion that, deal or no deal, Britain will leave the EU on March 29 means India will be among many countries that will have to negotiate its trade deals with the EU and Britain separately.

 

The truism that “no man is an island” and not even an island can isolate itself from the world applies to Britain today. Brexit disrupts the globalisation that seemed to have benefited the world over the last couple of decades.

Tags: theresa may, brexit