The United Kingdom is preparing for a new moment of truth in Parliament: MEPs will vote in early June on a bill on the Brexit agreement presented by Theresa May, which could whistle the end game for his government. This time, the vote will be on the legislation that must be adopted to implement its agreement, and not on the agreement itself, which has been rejected three times by British officials. This sleight of hand allows the Conservative Prime Minister to put it back on the agenda. "It is imperative" to introduce this bill "the week of June 3" so that the UK can leave the European Union "before the parliamentary break of the summer", which should start late July, said Downing Street.

In the event that MPs approve of it, the text will then have to shuttle between the two Houses of Parliament and be validated by Queen Elizabeth II. If the procedure is completed by 31 July, the country may leave the EU on that date. This would imply that British MPs sit at least a few weeks in the newly formed European Parliament, whose first plenary session is scheduled for July 2, while London has long hoped to avoid this paradoxical situation, three years after the referendum that decided the exit from the EU country.

The successive rejections of the deputies have already forced London to request twice from Brussels a postponement of the date of its exit, initially scheduled on March 29 and now set at October 31 at the latest. In the face of the parliamentary impasse, the government and the Labor opposition began talks in early April to find a compromise on the future relationship between their country and the EU.

It was after a meeting with Labor Chief Jeremy Corbyn that the government announced the presentation of its bill, saying the discussions had been "useful and constructive". But Labor has expressed "doubts" about "the credibility of the government's commitments," particularly because of "Conservative MPs and Cabinet members seeking to replace the Prime Minister," whose authority has very seriously damaged by procrastination on the Brexit.

Ms May has promised to give way once the EU withdrawal treaty is approved, but she is urged by some MEPs to set the date of her departure. "We have serious concerns about negotiating with a government in the process of disintegration," a Labor spokesman said yesterday.

Source: AFP

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