Britain has descended into political turmoil as decisions about the country’s future – or not – in the European Union brought with it a raft of ministerial resignations. Amid deep acrimony, the country’s Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a possible vote of no confidence, which would at least trigger a leadership contest in the ruling Conservative Party, if not a potential General Election if the coalition government begins to break up.
Four ministers resigned at the end of last week over the Brexit kerfuffle, with May telling parliament in a speech on the matter, “voting against a deal would take us all back to square one.” It has taken almost two years of fraught negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach a deal on Britain’s exit from the bloc; after a referendum in June 2016.
The UK’s former Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to hold the vote after winning the 2015 election. He was engulfed by a strong anti-European strain both within his own party and other factions, who pushed strongly for Britain to leave the European Union; largely on the back of a contention that the country was better out of the economic and political bloc than within it. Having staked his reputation and job on the result of the referendum, he left his post within hours of the close result being revealed. May, who had been Home Secretary, took over and inherited a mess from which it has been almost impossible to extricate herself.
Britain will formally exit the EU on Friday, March 29, 2019, at which point it will cease to be involved at any level in EU decision-making.
However, under the draft agreement, the UK will stay inside the bloc’s single market and remain subject to EU laws and regulations until the end of December 2020 while the two sides attempt to iron out a new trade relationship.
During this period, all existing EU “regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures” will continue to apply within the UK, including rulings made in the Court of Justice of the EU.
There have been reports that special anti-terrorist police forces have been deployed on UK streets as of Monday, ready for chaos in event of the Theresa May cabinet falling over the Brexit document she negotiated.