The UK is past the deadline for leaving the EU with no deal that has been accepted by the British parliament. 

The entire Brexit situation is incredibly complex. Prime minister may has set a new deadline for leaving the European Union by May 22. If the departure is delayed beyond that date, Britain would need to participate in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament. The prime ministers proposal in front of the British Parliament have defeated three times. However she survived a vote of non-confidence. Her latest effort to negotiate a new deal involves a coalition with the opposition Labour Party which favours a stronger customs and economic union with the European continent.

It’s a pretty high risk move by the prime minister. She is essentially looking to form a consensus that ignores her own conservative political party.

The entire question period in parliament was a loud raucous chaotic experience punctuated by numerous interruptions by the speaker of the house calling for order.

Members of the house would stand as a way of requesting to speak, waiting to be recognized by the speaker of the house. Some of the comments and questions for the prime minister were directly related to the matter at hand.

Other matters seemed to drop into the middle of the discussion out of left field. One member of the house of commons asked for the prime minister’s support in furthering recognition and training for members of parliament regarding autism. Another member of Parliament requested the prime minister support for improved handicap accessibility at a local train station. 

The entire process seems like one where everybody’s talking all at once, but nobody’s listening. I very much doubt that anyone‘s opinions were swayed by anything that was said in Parliament today. 

When we talk about Brexit there are five principal areas that we can examine 

  1. Single market
  2. Courts of justice 
  3. Customs union
  4. Immigration and border protection 
  5. Financial benefits, financial support and funding for EU institutions 

Proponents of a hard Brexit would see all of those areas severed from the eu. 

Proponents of a soft break want a continued customs union, and a single market, but full autonomous control over justice, borders and funding. It’s as if they want all of the benefits but none of the responsibilities of being part of the European Union. While it may be possible to gain a new consensus among the parties in the UK, it’s not obvious that the rest of Europe would agree to such an arrangement. Agreeing to a proposal like this would be synonymous with the death of the European Union. You would see other countries demanding the benefits but not the obligations of being part of the union. 

The current deadline to leave the EU is April 12. Any extension requires unanimous agreement by all 27 member nations. That’s not assured. If the April 12 deadline passes with no deal and no extension, then the prospect exists that the UK leaves with no transition period and get treated just like any other country that’s outside the EU. It would be the same as Vietnam or Thailand. There would be tariffs in place on goods, there would be restrictions on the movement of people. Licenses that were valid across the EU would cease to be valid. The level of economic and social disruption that could result is staggering. 

You might be thinking that the UK is a distant land. You might have visited the UK and strolled through the grounds of Windsor Castle, but if there are problems there, they really do affect you.

Think again. We live in a single global village. No country is an island unto itself. No country is fully self sufficient.