Will Boris Johnson’s Final Brexit Deal Pass In The UK Parliament Today?

For the past several months, the newly-elected United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was struggling between the parliament of the UK and European Union (EU) to propose a final Brexit deal. But on October 17, 2019, the European Commission put up a notice saying that they have reached both the “Withdrawal Agreement” and the “Political Agreement” of the UK in accordance with the European Council (EC) guidelines. Therefore saying, that the deal was accepted with a due condition that it takes the confidence of its own people of the UK parliament.

For representation purpose only
Source: The New York Times

Before going into what this deal is about, let us first understand the exact reasons for proposing this deal to the EC. The UK proposed some of the issues that it is facing through the EU.

The reasons for the Brexit deal are as follows:

The History Of Brexit Deal

  • On March 29, 2017, the UK notified the EC, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), of its intention to withdraw from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC). Therefore, the UK set out the arrangements for its entry to opt-out from the EU through the “Withdrawal Agreement”.
  • On November 25, 2018, the EC endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and approved a “Political Declaration” setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK via the “Political Declaration”.
  • On December 5, 2018, the EC tabled the proposals for a council decision on the signing, on behalf of the EU and of the EAEC for a Council Decision on the conclusion of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community (COM(2018)834).
  • On January 11, 2019, the EC adopted decision (EU) 2019/274 authorizing the signature of the Withdrawal Agreement and transmitted the draft council decision on the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement to the European Parliament for its consent.
  • However, the Government of the UK did not obtain the necessary support from its Parliament to proceed with the signature and ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement and requested the EC to extend the period foreseen in Article 50(3) TEU.
  • The EC granted an extension initially until April 12, 2019, and subsequently a further extension until October 31, 2019. As a result, the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement had to be adjusted accordingly and, on a proposal from the Commission (COM(2019)97), the Council adopted on 13 April, 2019, Decision 2019/642 amending Decision (EU) 2019/274 on the signing of the adapted text of the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Following the resignation of Theresa May as Prime Minister of the UK, the new UK Government under the leadership Boris Johnson has sought the replacement of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland attached to the Withdrawal Agreement endorsed on November 25, 2018, by the EC.
  • The UK Government also sought amendments to the Political Declaration approved on November 25, 2018, with a view to reflect the different level of ambition of the UK Government for the future relationship with the EU.
  • Discussions between the EU and UK negotiators resumed again in September 2019.

Finally, on October 17, 2019, the negotiators reached an agreement on a revised text of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and on the necessary technical adaptations to Articles 184 and 185 of the Withdrawal Agreement (document TF50(2019)64), as well as an on a revised text of the Political Declaration (document TF50(2019)65). The two newly agreed texts respect the European Council Guidelines and the Council negotiating directives.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – OCTOBER 17: Officials announced earlier in the day that EU and UK negotiators have reached an agreement on the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Test of Final Brexit Deal In UK Parliament Today

The House of Commons, which is also known as the lower house of the parliament of the United Kingdom, has a strength of 650 for the Member of Parliament (MP). The total strength of the parliament according to the party-wise can be observed from the table below:

Table: The House of Common’s MPs Strength Party-wise

Source: Parliament of U.K.

A total of 639 MPs out of 650 are open for voting. The speaker and other three deputy speakers have no role in voting in the parliament as a convention. The other seven MPs are abstentionists. Therefore, only 639 MPs are ready to cast their vote in this final Brexit deal today.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has a strength of 288 MPs in the parliament, along with 10 MPs’ support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)—who supported Boris to form a government recently. But at present, they are not ready to support the deal, as the deal didn’t fulfill some of their proposals.

Source: King’s College London

According to a BBC research, the Boris government would certainly win the final Brexit deal in the parliament today. It shows that the Brexit deal would get a vote of 302 MPs to support and 301 MPs as against the deal. About 36 MPs are undecided about which side they are going to vote for during the deal. The remaining 11 MPs are not at all voting due to their absence and the roles of speaker and deputy speaker of parliament.

Conclusion

For the past month, there have been uncertainties among members of the parties across all in dealing with the Brexit issue. Therefore, curiosity exists across the world on whether the deal will reach its conclusions or not before its deadline of October 31, 2019. If the deal fails again  in the UK parliament today, then we will have to wait for the EC’s response on Brexit deal.

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