UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May to face gruelling Brexit battle this week

Politicians are pressing Mrs May to publish the government’s internal legal advice to justify the Brexit terms she’s agreed with the EU.
Source: Getty Images

United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face a contentious battle this week as the stage is set for her to open the debate on Brexit to win over Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) before the House of Commons vote on Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union (EU) in almost a week’s time.

Politicians are pressing Mrs May to publish the government’s internal legal advice to justify the Brexit terms she’s agreed with the EU. The Prime Minister says the advice is confidential, but some MPs think the advice contain information that says that the UK could indefinitely be tied to EU’s customs rules.

On Monday afternoon, attorney general Geoffrey Cox is scheduled to address MPs about the advice on the Brexit plan and field off questions from MPs. He is set to publish a watered-down version of the advice, despite calls for the publishing of the full version.

Following Mr Cox’s statement, a five-day long debate on the Brexit deal will ensue. MPs will vote on the Brexit deal on December 11.

Lawmakers in the UK are set to debate on the Brexit package this week, but already some allies and about 100 members in Mrs May’s own Conservative Party are saying they will reject the deal.

Mrs May has stuck with the view that she can win the parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Mr Cox has told ministers in a letter saying that the only way out of the Northern Irish “backstop” agreement would be to sign a new trade deal, a long drawn process which could take years, according to The Sunday Times. This could mean an open-ended commitment for the UK to remain in EU’s customs union while details of the deal are ironed out.

A no-deal Brexit will do greater harm to the UK economy

A no-deal Brexit could cost the UK economy 9.3% of GDP over 15 years, UK’s government said in a report last week.

Under Mrs May’s Chequers Brexit plan, the UK economy could be up to 3.9% smaller after the same period of years compared with staying in the EU, the government analysis also suggested.

The Bank of England has warned that a disorderly Brexit could cause UK commercial-property prices to fall worse than it was compared to the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The bank cautioned in its Financial Stability Report last Wednesday that prices of offices, warehouses, malls and hotels could drop as much as 48% if the UK crashes out of Europe without a deal, more than the 42% peak-to-trough decline following the 2008 global crisis.

In a “disruptive” Brexit scenario in the immediate aftermath with no transition period, the slide in prices of those properties would be limited to 27%, and the Pound could fall by one quarter in value, it added. The UK economy, could also shrink by 8%, the central bank said.

On Sunday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove warned that there could be another EU referendum if MPs do not back the existing deal.

Mrs May have said that the current Brexit deal is the “best deal available for jobs and (the) economy”, that allows the UK “to honour the referendum and realise the opportunities of Brexit”.

The Pound was £0.78 against the US dollar and £0.89 against the Euro at 8.14am UTC.

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