Theresa May faces major crisis in Commons | Daily News

Theresa May faces major crisis in Commons

French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respects by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe last Sunday to mark the centennial of the Armistice that ended World War I. US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the world leaders in attendance.  - AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respects by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe last Sunday to mark the centennial of the Armistice that ended World War I. US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vlad

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is plunged into a deep political crisis, facing a rejection of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, and also a motion of No Confidence against her in the Conservative Party.

After a five hour Cabinet meeting at her residence 10, Downing Street on Wednesday (14) she came out a told the media that the Cabinet had approved the final agreement with the EU. She stressed that the negotiations with the EU that went on since the UK referendum on leaving the EU in 2016 was based on the British national interest.

However, on Thursday (15) as she faced the House of Commons to explain the draft agreement (which also has to be approved by the other 27 EU members), she faced a major challenge, with two key ministers of her government resigning. These were the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, followed quickly by Brexit-backing Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey. Two junior ministers and two ministerial aides also resigned.

Significantly, Dominic Raab is the second minister handling the Brexit negotiations to resign from May’s Cabinet. The first was David Davis, who served as Secretary of State for exiting the EU from July 2016 to July 2018. In July 2018, shortly after Theresa May said she had Cabinet approval for what was described as the Chequers Plan for leaving the EU, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, also resigned from the Cabinet. Dominic Raab is the second Brexit Secretary to resign in four months, showing the increasing lack of support has within both the Government and the Conservative Party, which she heads and leads the government.

Prime Minister May is also faced with the disapproval of the Brexit Exit Plan by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland. Theresa May who does not have Conservative majority in the Commons is dependent on 10 MPs of the DUP for the government majority on key issues in the Commons. This is now clearly challenged.

In a damning verdict of the Draft Brexit proposal Dominic Raab has said May’s plan had ‘major and fatal flaws’, coming from the minister who was closely involved with the negotiations with the EU.

Among others who have moved out of Theresa May’s administration in the current crisis are junior Northern Ireland Minister Shailesh Vara, junior Brexit Minister Suella Braveman, and Parliamentary Private Secretaries Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ranil Jayewardena.

The Opposition Labour Party is wholly against May’s Brexit proposals and Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn has said a “botched deal” that breaches the government's own red lines.

Meanwhile, in a bigger threat to Theresa May is the move to have a vote of No Confidence on her. Stave Baker, a fellow of the European Research Group and MP Rees-Mogg are talking of moving ahead with such a motion very soon. A letter to this effect has already been given to the chairman of the1922 Committee, which handles such issues, and it needs additional signatures, which are likely to come.

With the opposition to the Theresa May moves for Brexit increasing, there is a rising call for a second referendum on UK leaving the EU, which is opposed by Theresa May. The earlier referendum on the UK leaving the EU saw a vote of 51.9% to leave, which has put the UK on a course to leave the EU by end March 2019. Those calling for a second referendum say the voters were not given the full facts about the exit from the EU in the run up to the 2016 referendum. Theresa May was opposed to the UK leaving the EU, but decided to support it after she was chosen as Prime Minister following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who introduced the referendum, but campaigned to remain in the EU, with certain conditions.

Meanwhile, the EU says much work still needs to be done on Brexit, despite agreeing a draft withdrawal document with the UK. “We still have a long road ahead of us on both sides,” chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said. The EU has set out a series of meetings leading to one on November 25 where it plans to approve the Brexit agreement.

Trump - Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump were in a major verbal clash over Nationalism in the past week, raising new questions about the relations between the US and France and Europe. The clash took place when President Macron called for the forming of a ‘real European army’ to protect the continent ‘with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.’ He spoke while on a tour of World War 1 memorials, marking the century after the end of World War 1, when he also said: “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.”

This is a trend of Macron’s thinking for nearly one year, but has received urgency after President Trump announced last month that the U.S. would pull out of a Cold War era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, and Trump has also displayed a tepid attitude in the past towards NATO's mutual defense commitments.

President Macron condemned nationalism on Sunday in a fiery speech widely interpreted as a rebuke against President Trump’s “America First” agenda. Speaking at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris at a World War I commemoration ceremony attended by Trump, Macron suggested nationalism could lead to the same death and devastation seen during that war. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values,” he said as Trump looked on. “I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” he said. “History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.”

Macron’s comments come just a few weeks after Trump declared himself a “nationalist” at a Texas campaign rally, sparking concerns that the label could embolden neo-Nazis and far-right nationalists—a fear that Trump later suggested was “racist.”

President Trump soon unleashed verbal attacks on President Macron, taking aim at his approval rating, his country’s employment rate, its trade policies on wine and his vision for the military.

In the first of several barbs Tuesday on Twitter, Trump again misrepresented what Macron had said during last week’s radio interview against nationalism, and reminded him of the U.S. military’s role in aiding France in World War I and II.

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump wrote. “But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two — How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along.”

In the continuing Tweetstorm attacked Macron stating: “The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!”

“MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!” Trump added, in a play on his campaign slogan.

In another Twitter attack, Trump complained of a trade disparity suggesting that it makes it harder for U.S. winemakers to sell their products in France.

“On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.,” Trump wrote. “The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!”

Following Trump’s attacks on Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to Macron’s defense, echoing his initial call for a “real European army.”

“We want to work on the vision of eventually creating a real European army,” Merkel said in a speech to the European Parliament. Her remarks implied that such a project would not be pursued imminently. But a European army, Merkel said, would “show the world that there will never again be war between the European countries.”

In a stab at Trump, Merkel said that the times when Europe could rely on others were “simply over.”

“Old allies cast doubts over tried and tested ties,” she said, in what was seen as a likely reference to the United States.

The disagreements and verbal clashes between Trump and Macon, and the intervention of Angela Merkel too, shows the growing differences between the US and Europe, following President Trump's foreign policy moves which are often critical of allies who have stood together since the end of World War II. This indicates the rise of new relations both within and outside Europe on foreign and defense policies, with some European countries, such as Italy and Hungary looking at closer ties with Russia.



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