A Breakdown of the Brexit Breakdown

A lot has changed in Brexit in the last week. So we've created a breakdown of the breakdown of Brexit to help everyone get a little bit more in the know!

Wednesday 14th November: Morning

Theresa May releases her 500-page Brexit proposal. Immediately, MPs begin tweeting, posting and sharing their thoughts and the thoughts of their constituents online. This action of releasing the proposal is a catalyst for the breakdown of Brexit and potentially the beginning of the fall of the Tory government.

May’s proposed deal has been criticised by members of her own party, by the Labour Party and by both the DUP and Scottish Conservatives who feel under-represented.

The deal does not guarantee that we would stay in the Customs Union, which is defined as a group of countries, or areas, that have a free trade agreement and agree on the same import duties. Jeremy Corbyn, referring to a leaked document from the EU, has said that he would support a Brexit that kept Britain in the Customs Union.

The deal is also unclear about immigration law. This means that for any EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa, their futures are unknown. The deal also doesn't protect international student exchange programs, meaning it will take opportunities away from young people.

Wednesday 14th November: Evening

At 7:16pm, the Prime Minister emerges from 10 Downing Street and what she says shocks Briton’s everywhere. She announces that we can have, "this deal… Or leave with no deal, or no Brexit at all." No Brexit at all! After two years of resignations, protests, lies and scaremongering, where was the option to rewind and cancel Brexit? Or at least, the option of a second referendum without lies or illegal funding – a truthful referendum.

Conservative MPs, Anne Marie Morris and Laurence Robertson, submit a letter of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

Thursday 15th November

Dominic Raab resigns as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the value of the pound falls, risking our economy. Steven Barclay is then signed in as the newest Brexit Secretary, begging the question - third time lucky?

Theresa May appears on LBC, where she is asked by a member of the public to stand down as Prime Minister. The public don't seem to feel well represented or supported in the negotiations. A poll on the Evening Standard’s website asked the public if they agreed with the Prime Minister’s Brexit proposal. Over 80% voted no. The poll then asked if the public believed the deal would get through the House of Commons. Again, over 80% said no.

A further 12 politicians, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, submit a letter of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

Friday 16th November

BBC News reports that the European Parliament does not want to get involved with Britain’s "domestic issues," these domestic issues being the list of resignations, letters of no confidence, and the public’s uprising against the deal. The next Brexit summit is set for November 25th. Despite the unrest, the European Parliament have said that the issues occurring in Britain at the moment are not enough for the summit to be postponed or re-considered.

Five more MPs submit a letter of no confidence against the Prime Minister. This marks 25 letters of no confidence since July. If a total of 48 letters is received, this will trigger a secret ballot, which if lost, would result in a leadership election where May would not be allowed to run.

To gain a wider understanding on the public’s view of Theresa May and Brexit. I opened up a public poll on my personal Facebook page. My Facebook friends are a mixed community, from older family members, to friends of my parents, to students who were too young to vote in the referendum.

I firstly asked, "Do you think Theresa May should step down as Prime Minister?" The responses were mixed, with 67% voting that she should indeed step down. I asked some friends for comments on their decisions.

One simply replied, "She’s a dickhead and clearly has no clue what she’s doing, which is not something I particularly want in the Prime Minister."

Someone else said that they'd lost confidence in the Party and that she "said for ages that Brexit means Brexit but has recently done a 180 and let slip that it could be stopped."

In contrast, another commented, "The last thing the UK needs is more uncertainty. A major distraction like electing a new leader would slow Brexit negotiations down even further."

One final comment read, "May believes she is doing the best thing. We are in this situation because the Tory party was divided on the issue of Europe."

These comments show a divided public, even within the community of friends I have on Facebook. I put out a second poll asking if they thought the public was being well represented in the Brexit negotiations, regarding their wishes surrounding the Customs Union and free movement. The response was overwhelmingly "no".

Currently, it is looking unlikely that May will get a deal of any kind through Parliament. Many members of her own cabinet are against her, while, as a front, the Labour Party are also against her. Previously, May had said that there would no option for a second referendum. "Brexit means Brexit." However, perhaps the breakdown of this week could indicate something entirely different: that Brexit means squat.