two crucial votes around the agreement expected in the House of Commons

British MPs must decide on the modalities and timing of their work on Brexit. The outcome of these votes depends on the continuation of the soap opera.

Time to Reading 2 min.

Early elections, exit without agreement, postponement of the Brexit … all the scenarios for the continuation of the soap opera are still on the table. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

Two votes, but still not on the agreement. The British elected members of the House of Commons will have to decide, Tuesday, October 22, on two essential points for the continuation of negotiations on the Brexit which is still scheduled for October 31, in the absence of European response to the request for postponement submitted to them by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The votes are expected at the earliest around 8 pm, Paris time.

At first, the deputies will continue the debate started on Monday on Withdrawal Agreement Bill "(WAB, the draft withdrawal agreement), which specifies all the terms and conditions of application in the UK law of the agreement reached on October 17 in Brussels. Once this debate is completed, a vote on the very principle of this text – and not on the substance of what it contains – will be proposed to the deputies, and the result will answer the first interrogation of the evening: are there any he a majority in the House to start working on the laws of application? Difficult to deliver a prognosis as the serial Brexit has shone by its twists in recent months, but a favorable vote seems most likely.

Read also: From Northern Ireland to VAT, the key points of the new Brexit agreement

If ever the no should prevail, the festivities of the evening will stop there, the snub will be considerable for Boris Johnson and the quagmire Brexit will remain more or less such, waiting for a movement of Europeans – such that the approval of a new shift Brexit – or the Prime Minister himself, who could try to convene new elections.

Threat of early elections

If, on the contrary, the vote on the principle of WAB is very positive, then MEPs will have to decide on a second part: the timetable and the work program. This second vote promises to be even more delicate. Indeed, the government wants a legislative process at no cost, hoping to finish Thursday. However, this very short time frame for voting on a 110-page project (with even longer explanatory notes) irritates MPs.

Read the editorial of the "World": Brexit: ending a bad soap opera

In the event of rejection, the chances of final adoption of the law before the end of the month would be strongly compromised, reinforcing the chances of a "No deal" October 31, unless the Europeans give a new report to London, which is very likely. For his part, Boris Johnson has already threatened to call early elections if his schedule was not endorsed by the deputies.

However, according to information from World, more and more moderate conservatives join the two votes of the evening, starting with Oliver Letwin, the author of the surprise amendment on Saturday, which forced Boris Johnson to request a postponement of Brexit until all the legislation necessary to implement the agreement is adopted. On the Labor side, some elected officials have also said they would vote favorably, contrary to the instructions of their leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Read also Oliver Letwin, the man behind the amendment that disrupted Boris Johnson's plan

"No justification" for a new report "at this stage"

Asked at the National Assembly during the government's question-and-answer session on Tuesday (October 22nd), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that"Today, as we speak, at this stage, we feel that there is no justification for a new extension" the deadline for the implementation of Brexit.

"We've been waiting for this decision for three years. It is important that it be announced today, because otherwise there will be no application, except the 'no deal', which is not the solution we prefer ", he said again. "The main question is to send it back to the British, and tell us today, as soon as possible, whether it's yes or not"added the head of French diplomacy.


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