Brexit: Dominic Raab still believes in timely withdrawal

The optimism of the British Conservatives seems to be unbroken: Secretary of State Dominic Raab has told the broadcaster BBC that he is confident that they will meet the deadline of 31 October. "It seems we have enough votes in the lower house," he continued. They want to bring the agreement through parliament next week.


Perhaps the MPs are actually voting on this Monday in the House of Commons on the deal negotiated between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU – but that is not yet clear.


Parliament President John Bercow intends to announce his decision on Monday afternoon (around 4:30 pm CEST), a lower house spokeswoman said. If he gives the green light, MEPs could vote on the deal on the same day in the late afternoon or evening.


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The parliament postponed a decision on the agreement on Saturday, causing Johnson a defeat. MEPs voted 322 to 306 for a motion to postpone the decision until the ratification law has been passed. Johnson was thus required by law to apply to the European Union for an extension of the Brexit deadline beyond October 31.


The concern over the postponement was that the Brexit Agreement could no longer be ratified in time for withdrawal. The consequence would be an unregulated exit from the European Union. In order to prevent a no-deal-Brexit, the MEPs would have to wave through everything that the government provides in the Ratification Act.


Johnson bowed to the British Parliament and applied to the EU for an extension until the end of January. But Johnson joined this weekend with the announcement to pull the EU exit still on 31 October. Already on Monday, he could submit the Brexit contract again to the lower house. The EU is waiting eagerly. As long as Council President Donald Tusk probes, whether the EU states once granted respite. Chances are good when needed.


 Boris Johnson


Johnson has no majority in parliament and relies on opposition votes to ratify the Brexit deal. The head of the Labor Party, however, is officially against the deal. And several opposition politicians sharply criticized Johnson's behavior. "He's acting a bit like a spoiled brat," said Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell of the Labor Party on Sky News Sunday. Former Tory MP Anna Soubry, who leads a group of pro-European former Tory and Labor MPs, likened the prime minister to a "rebellious child."


In Brussels, diplomats perplexed about the confused situation in London. Nevertheless, on Sunday morning, as planned, the EU ambassadors met with negotiator Michel Barnier and formally launched the ratification procedure on the EU side. Because not only the British Parliament has to accept the treaty, but also the European Parliament. Theoretically, this could happen on Thursday in Strasbourg. The heads of the European Parliament deal with the timetable on Monday.

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