|Author (Corporate)||Cardiff EDC|
|Publication Date||July 2019-|
|Content Type||News, Overview|
Feature bringing together reports and analyses on the approach adopted by the government led by Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom when it came to the country's withdrawal from the European Union (also known as Brexit).
Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 24 July 2019, following a leadership contest within the UK Conservative Party. As a result of the campaign led by Mr Johnson as a leadership candidate, the cabinet adopted as its policy to leave the European Union (EU) by 31 October 2019, in whichever conditions. The Prime Minister stated the intention to engage in negotiations with the EU for an alternative to the so-called 'backstop' mechanism designed under the previous cabinet to guarantee frictionless trade in the island of Ireland, and included in an Withdrawal Agreement, which faced opposition in Parliament for months. Even so, many analysts warned against the increasing inevitability of a scenario in which the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU without an agreement (also known as no-deal scenario).
Throughout August, the Government announced the UK was no longer going to attend non-essential EU-level meetings to focus on Brexit preparations in the country. The country's home secretary also warned that freedom of movement would end the next day following withdrawal in case of a no-deal scenario, sparking criticism and some panic among EU citizens living in the United Kingdom.
In a controversial decision, it was announced on 28 August that the Government was seeking the prorogation (or suspension) of the Parliament in September and October 2019. The proposal was quickly approved by the Queen. The move was widely interpreted as a way to make it harder for Parliament - known to feature a majority against a no-deal scenario - to act against the cabinet's policy regarding Brexit, as also sparked a number of protests on the streets across the country.
On 3 September, members of Parliament (MPs) voted to take control of House of Commons business - a number of Conservative MPs backed the proposal and were thrown out of the party as a result. The move would allow MPs to put forward a bill aimed at forcing Mr Johnson to ask to delay the withdrawal from the EU until at least 31 January 2020 in order to avoid a no-deal exit. The government also lost its working majority in Parliament, following a defection from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Democrats. On the following day, the Parliament approved the bill ordering the Prime Minister to request a further extension beyond 31 October in case of a no-deal scenario. The Government also put forward a proposal for a general election to be held before the end of October, which was rejected by the House of Commons over fears it could lead to a no-deal scenario.
On 16 September, Mr Johnson met the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker for the first time to take stock of the technical talks between the EU and the UK and to discuss the next steps. Sources from both sides had contradicting views on the state of negotiations towards alternatives to the already agreed Withdrawal Agreement. Following a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister on that same day, Mr Johnson refused to attend a joint press conference due to noisy protests held outside the venue of the meeting.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Keywords||Brexit [After the Referendum]
|Countries / Regions||United Kingdom|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|