Theresa May looks set to delay the vote on her Brexit deal once again, in order to give herself more time to adjust the Withdrawal Agreement. The Prime Minister will ask for another two weeks to alter the agreement as pro-Remain MPs prepare to remove the option of a no-deal Brexit. She will urge the House of Commons to allow her to come back later this month to update MPs on her plans and give them an opportunity to vote on how to proceed.
With the exit date looming, Mrs May is finding it hard to make any adjustments to the Withdrawal Agreement, as the EU has so far insisted that negotiations are over.
It has been nearly two years since Mrs May triggered Article 50 and officially started the clock on a two-year timetable to leave the EU, but a solution to the Brexit chaos seems no closer.
Many politicians, including DUP leader Arlene Foster, are blaming the EU’s “intransigence” for the ongoing deadlock and claimed it could lead to a no-deal Brexit.
Even the bloc’s members are calling for a ”change of direction” in the EU’s Brexit policy, with Germany Finance Minister Olaf Scholz admitting a no-deal exit would harm industrial sectors across the continent.
As one of the world’s biggest economies is quitting the EU project, with potentially serious economic consequences for the rest of the members, some might expect more of Brussels.
In 2018 book “Clean Brexit: Why Leaving the EU still makes sense”, authors and economists Liam Halligan and Gerard Lyons noted that even Pope Francis warned about how the EU is no longer able to “look ahead”.
On March 25, 2017, the leaders of the 27 EU Members States, met in Italy to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which formed the European Economic Community (EEC) and paved the way for the European Union.
They also met to reflect both on the current state of the EU and the future of the integration process.
On the eve of the declaration, Mr Lyons and Mr Halligan wrote that behind the pomp and ceremony, clear concerns about European integration showed through and they came from the Vatican.
The authors wrote: “While offering a blessing for the EU, the Pope issued a warning.
“[The Pope] said: ‘When a body loses its sense of direction and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks dying.
“‘The EU is facing unprecedented challenges, both global and domestic, regional conflicts, terrorism, growing migratory pressures, protectionism and social and economic inequalities.'”
The Pope has repeatedly criticised Europe over the past five years for its perceived lack of vision, drawing the ire of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2014 when he described the EU as an elderly woman who was “no longer fertile and vibrant”.