British Prime Minister Theresa May is assembling a new plan to pursue the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, but this effort is likely doomed as well since no consensus exists to honor the Brexit wishes of the voters.
May’s most recent Brexit plan was crushed in the House of Commons, largely because her own Conservative Party cannot agree on a strategy and opposing parties don’t want to help her either.
“Within the Conservative Party, there’s a huge split between those who see the deal as a repudiation of what the people voted for. Over 17 million Britons voted to leave the European Union and they don’t see this deal that she put forward to them as actually bringing about a removal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“Then you have another element within her party I think that believes that this deal does too much,” said Daniel Kochis, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
Kochis agrees with the first argument, that May is trying to force through a plan that will still leave the UK beholden to the European Union, specifically the customs union.
“I don’t think that this withdrawal agreement did enough. It kept the United Kingdom in this sort of de facto limbo or perpetual limbo, where they were going to have to abide by the same sort of regulations and rules emanating from the EU but they would have lost their seat at the table to vote on those to help shape them,” said Kochis.
“Many members of the British public and of Theresa May’s own party saw this for what it was. It was a soft way to keep the UK within the European Union, They rejected that as not something the British people voted for,” he added.
But what is the U.S. interest in all of this British drama? Kochis says a lot could be at stake and the U.S. stands to benefit from a clean Brexit.
“It’s in our interest to have a United Kingdom that is sovereign, that can dictate it’s own trade policy, that can dictate it’s own border policy and not allowing itself to take in hundreds or thousands of people against the will of their own citizens.”
“It would allow them to be a strong defense partner for the United States. For instance, [Britain is] one of the key intelligence allies the United States has. There is some concern that were they to stay in the European Union that that could be damaged,” said Kochis, who also thinks a bilateral trade deal with the British could be a very good thing for our relationship and our economy.
Listen to the full podcast as Kochis explains why the UK leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29 might be the best case scenario. He also explains why Theresa May keeps hanging on to her job despite repeated failures at getting a Brexit deal approved.