Prime Minister Theresa May was grappling with the biggest crisis of her premiership on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party.
More than two years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a shock referendum, it is still unclear how, on what terms or even if it will leave the EU as planned on March 29, 2019.
Ever since winning the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 referendum, May has sought to negotiate a Brexit deal that ensures that the United Kingdom leaves in the smoothest way possible.
But Brexit minister Dominic Raab resigned over her deal, sending the pound tumbling. Mutinous lawmakers in her own party openly sought to challenge her leadership and bluntly told her that the Brexit deal would not pass parliament.
Asked if she would contest any challenge to her position, May replied: “Am I going to see this through? Yes.” She is due to speak on LBC radio at 0800 GMT.
On Friday, it was not clear whether Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexit-supporting minister in her government, would stay on as environment minister after May offered him the job of Brexit minister, British newspapers reported.
Brexit will pitch the world’s fifth largest economy into the unknown. Many fear it will divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional U.S. presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.
Amid the deepest political turmoil since the Suez canal crisis, when in 1956 Britain was forced by the United States to withdraw its troops from Egypt, the ultimate outcome remains uncertain.
Scenarios include May’s deal ultimately winning approval; May losing her job; Britain leaving the bloc with no agreement; or even another referendum.
The EU and Britain need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world’s biggest trading bloc and the United Kingdom, home to the biggest international financial center.
Supporters of Brexit say that while the divorce might bring some short-term instability, in the longer term it will allow the United Kingdom to thrive and also enable deeper EU integration without such a powerful reluctant member.
By seeking to preserve the closest possible ties with the EU, May has upset her party’s many advocates of a clean break, and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.
Meanwhile, proponents of closer relations with the EU in her own party and the Labour opposition say the deal squanders the advantages of membership for little gain.
The deal will need the backing of about 320 of parliament’s 650 lawmakers to pass.
“It is … mathematically impossible to get this deal through the House of Commons. The stark reality is that it was dead on arrival,” said Conservative Brexit-supporting lawmaker Mark Francois.
Brexit Will Not Happen Next Week
Brexit will not happen next week. The United Kingdom has been granted a bit more time to figure out the terms of its departure from the European trading bloc. The date could be April the twelfth or may the twenty-second.
European Council President, Donald Tusk, says he would push the departure date to May the twenty-second if the UK parliament approves a withdrawal agreement next week.
Parliament’s failure to approve the Brexit deal next week would mean deadline for departure from the European Union will be April the twelfth.
The decision to grant the delay came a day after may delivered a televised speech blaming parliament for the Brexit impasse. That speech angered the political spectrum.
May hopes with this European Council next decision, the House of Commons would pass a Brexit deal next week. She says that would help bring an end to the uncertainty and would help the UK to leave Europe in a smooth and orderly manner.
Chemical Factory Explosion In China Kills 47, Injures Over 600
An explosion at a chemical plant that occurred on Thursday in China’s eastern Jiangsu province has killed 47 people and injured over 600, among which 90 are critically injured, state media reported.
The fire which happened at a plant that contained highly inflammable chemical owned by the Tianjiayi Chemical Company spread to neighbouring factories was finally brought under control at 3.00 a.m. on Friday.
President Xi Jinping, who is in Italy on a state visit, ordered all-out efforts to care for the injured and to “earnestly maintain social stability”, state television said.
Reuters disclosed that some police at the scene were wearing face masks, sealed off roads to the plant. The blast smashed windows in the village of Wangshang two kilometres (1.2 miles) away, and shocked villagers likened it to an earthquake.
New Zealand Bans Sale Of Assault Rifles, Semi-Automatic Weapons
New Zealand has banned the sale of assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons after the country’s worst-ever attack in which fifty persons were killed in two mosques.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference the ban is in the national interest and it’s about safety… To prevent an act of terror from ever happening again in New Zealand.
Ardern said she expects the new law to be in place by mid-April. Buy-back schemes will be established for banned weapons.
Ardern said the suspect arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines “done easily through a simple online purchase.”
The changes in New Zealand’s gun laws are expected to curtail future acts of random violence like the mass mosques shootings in Christchurch.
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