Westminster’s parliament has ratified the Brexit follow-on agreement with a strong majority of 521 to 73 votes – but this rejection outside London can hardly be evident. Of the three state parliaments, only Wales approved the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while Scotland and Northern Ireland categorically declined the deal. Both had already voted against leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Your current rejection is primarily symbolic – but does not bode well for future interactions and unity of the nation.
In Scotland, the country’s head Nicola Sturgeon raided Prime Minister Boris Johnson against a deal being offered as a “small gift” for Christmas to his country. MPs in Edinburgh then voted 92 to 30 against the agreement, which, according to Sturgeon and his Scottish National Party (SNP), offered the country “no gains, only mass losses”. His party refused to delve into “how grave the ecological, economic and social interests of Scotland have suffered.”
In addition to the Greens and Liberal Democrats, the Labor Party in Scotland also joined the rejection – and received harsh criticism in the rest of the country. Labor leader Keir Starr had sworn his party to support the agreement. Ultimately, it is better to start the new year without a follow-up deal.
State party leader Richard Leonard defended his rebellion against this labor requirement and received cross-party support when he proposed an extension of the legislation to the Brexit follow-on agreement. Among other things, he calls for a similar replacement for the Erasmus exchange program for students, of which Great Britain is now departing.
Rare settlement in Northern Ireland – finding scapegoat
In the Northern Irish capital of Belfast, 47 MPs voted against the deal and 38 in favor. MPs, as well as Scots, recalled that their part of the country had voted against leaving the European Union from the beginning and were unwilling to accept its disastrous consequences.
There was little agreement, at least on the question of who should be blamed, between the otherwise paradoxically deployed prefectional Sin Fen party and pro-British Ulster unionists. Both attributed responsibility for the strange deal to the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Northern Ireland’s strongest ruling party.
As a former coalition partner of British conservatives, the DUP had supported the Brexit curriculum – but was later abandoned with its terms as the Conservatives gained their stable majority. As a result, among other things, Johnson broke his promise that there would be no customs control between Northern Ireland and the rest of the state – which would take place from 1 January 2021. Unions fear that they will cut off from Great Britain and become less important within the state.
“It’s a shame,” said Mervyn Gibson, secretary general of the British Protestant Orange Order of the Reuters news agency, in front of his home in Belfast. “We have been let down by the Prime Minister and deceived really.”
The DUP dismissed maritime border crimes effective from January. Instead, pro-Irish parties created this situation by rejecting the option of a maritime border – control of the land border with the Republic of Ireland, the DUP announced. A difficult land border was also rejected by the European Union, which endangered peace on the Irish island.
Settlement despite frustration in Cardiff
Wales was the only part of the country other than England to approve Brexit in 2016 – and waved Johnson’s deal with 28 to 24 votes in the current vote. However, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford called the deal “thin and disappointing”. Eventually, you can build the deal and make better contracts for the future, the head of the country said.
Unlike Labor Party members, Labor holds a majority in the Welsh Parliament – and MPs, sticking to the Labor Party line in support of the agreement.
When voting on the Brexit follow-up agreement, state parliaments had only a symbolic handle. Yet his disapproval of the government’s course shows how bad unity is in the state.
For example, in Northern Ireland, the nationalist Sin Féin saw Brexit as an opportunity to gain independence from London, 100 years after laxity in the United Kingdom. “More and more people are wondering what their identity is outside the European Union and what Brexit has done for their identity,” John O’Dow, Sin Féin MP, now in the Northern Irish Parliament. He pointed to Annexation as a possible solution for the Republic of Ireland.
In Scotland, on Christmas Eve, the SNP had advertised independence from Great Britain and EU membership on Twitter: “We never voted for this extreme Tory deal”.
During the vote, the head of government generously shared against the leadership in London: “The system in Westminster can no longer be repaired,” he said during the vote, and the Scottish opinion of London at all times during this fiasco I was ignored. Even before Brexit, your SNP had demanded the independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom and, if it succeeds, would like to re-join the EU as a separate country. “We as an independent European country deserve the best possible deal.”
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