Correspondent in London
dozens of the demonstrators pro-Brexit had gathered in front of Downing Street Wednesday afternoon, to call on the government to reject the draft agreement “rotten”, concluded between London and Brussels, on the output of the Union, while the government at large was discussed behind closed doors around Theresa. The night before, it was the camp rival supporters of a new referendum were meeting a few hundred yards away. The opposing factions of the country divided by the Brexit think to shoot their last cartridge before one of them loses permanently the battle.
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A cleavage that was around the table of the Council of ministers. Started 14 hours, the meeting came to an end five hours later, shifting the whole device presentation planned. Theresa May has announced that it has obtained the approval of its government on a text of nearly 600 pages, primarily relating to the terms of the divorce, strewn with compromise granted to the european Union, namely the quest for sovereignty british promoters of the Brexit. Several ministers did not hide their misgivings. Two or three of them had had in mind to put their resignation in the balance, after six previous for a year, including those of Boris Johnson or David Davis this summer. Esther McVey, in charge of Work and Pensions, Penny Mordaunt, minister of Women, Equality and international Aid, as well as the secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, appeared to be on the starting line, to believe the british press.
“The draft agreement is the best that we could negotiate. […] This is a crucial step to finalize the agreement in the coming days,” said the first minister in front of 10 Downing Street.
“The draft agreement is the best that we could negotiate (…) It is a milestone”
The brexiters had sounded for the cavalry. Boris Johnson called on the government to “live up to its responsibilities and stop this deal”. His colleague, deputy tory of Bath, Jacob Rees-Mogg, to see the status of the Great Britain deteriorate of “vassal” to the”slave” of the EU. It threatened Theresa May of a procedure for removal, which could be launched very quickly. For the ex-minister of Brexit, David Davis, the agreement would be “a betrayal of the outcome of the referendum” to “irreversible consequences for the years to come.” The mp europhobe Peter Bone warned the first minister that she was going to lose “the support of many conservative mps and millions of voters across our country.”
The loyalists in northern ireland the Democratic Unionist Party, whose ten members are supposed to be allies of the government May, are also wind standing against the project of a divorce, due to a differential treatment that is planned for Northern Ireland. “Unacceptable,” thundered their leader Arlene Foster at Belfast, before boarding the plane to go see the first minister in London. Which led in turn to the head of the regional government the scottish Nicola Sturgeon to judge the text “devastating” for Scotland, because it would encourage the Northern Ireland. For one of the main instigators of the referendum, Nigel Farage, it is neither more nor less of the “worst trade agreement in history.” Preliminary Version of the agreement of withdrawal of the Uk from the european Union and the european Community of atomic energy published by LeFigaro
“The worst of both worlds”
Few had actually seen the text, which had however already been fortunate to rally discontent. The “remainers” proeuropéens used a rhetoric little different from that of brexiters. “This agreement is not a compromise, but a capitulation”, cinglait the former prime minister, labour’s Tony Blair, in favour of a new referendum. It ironisait on “the unholy alliance” between him and Boris Johnson arising from this situation. All two, as the former minister tory proeuropéenne Justine Greening, see it as the “worst of both worlds”. “I can’t look my voters in the eye and say that he is a better agreement than the one we have as a member of the EU,” judge Dominic Grieve, former minister in the conservative Justice.
Past these recriminations expected, Theresa May then hope to obtain the consecration of the text by the Twenty-Seven during an extraordinary european Council meeting on 25 November. And then submit it to the ratification by the british Parliament on or around 10 December. If the decision of the cabinet has been tense, the vote of the deputies in favour of a text that has already been vilified seems even more hypothetical. Wednesday evening, no majority seemed to be emerging to support it. But there is no majority to go out without agreement or, for the moment, in favour of a second referendum. This is what the first minister to put the elect at the foot of the wall and force them to support by default the only solution on the table.