UK and EU face separate dilemmas over Brexit agreement as PM hosts Austrian chancellor

UK and EU face separate dilemmas over Brexit agreement as PM hosts Austrian chancellor

Today, British Prime Minister Theresa May will host Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for talks at her Downing Street office. May’s

Austria’s Chancellor Kurz and Britain’s Prime Minister May address the media in Salzburg

Photo: Reuters/Andreas Gebert

Today, British Prime Minister Theresa May will host Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for talks at her Downing Street office.

May’s latest Brexit proposal faces a wide array of domestic issues that will jeopardise its chance of receiving the needed approval from Parliament. The status of the Northern Ireland border as “hard” or “soft” and the extent to which the deal is a “soft Brexit” have hindered developments, with many Conservative MPs vowing to vote against the current plan.

The EU also faces a dilemma. Rejecting the deal would give Ms May’s government time to renegotiate outstanding issues preventing her from gaining the necessary domestic support to pass the bill. However, a rejection would also further delay a conclusive Brexit plan being communicated to the international body.

With some hesitation, the EU will likely approve the proposal. Regardless, Brexit will remain in limbo, and the EU is likely to be seen as weak on its demands for a timely and actionable UK-EU withdrawal plan. Failure to pass the proposal in the UK Parliament also jeopardises the political survival of Theresa May.

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