New Year, new May? | DMA

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New Year, new May?


Happy New Year!

I can feel it. 2019 is going to be your year. You’ve renewed that gym membership. Signed up for language classes. Dusted off the old guitar.

Good on you. You're one step ahead of the Prime Minister, too. Theresa May still hasn’t formally scheduled in the Parliamentary vote on the Withdrawal Agreement... or signed up for dancing lessons.

In fairness, she has indicated the vote will take place sometime on the week of the 14 of January with debate in the preceding week. But she also said the vote would happen in December...

What is true is that any agreement has to be passed by 21 January, or it will the case that no deal between the EU and UK has been reached.

Theresa May clearly wants to put the vote as close to 21 January as possible so that MPs fear that taking her deal is the only option available to them. This tactic is being greeted with considerable disdain, as one might expect.

Theoretically, if Theresa May fears the vote will be lost and that no-deal will ensue, she might move to extend the amount of time before the UK is due to leave the EU through the provisions laid out in Article 50. This would allow her to renegotiate again (yes, I know that’s what she’s supposed to be doing now) and bring an alternative deal back to Parliament to face a vote.

Nonetheless, this new deal probably won’t fly either. Not least because the EU has said they aren’t going to give any more concessions or change the deal in any substantive way.

Perhaps, just perhaps, The Prime Minister might move instead to seek a second referendum, or a ‘people’s vote’, as it is being touted.

Of course, this puts us right back at the start of the whole process in 2016. But, given the disparity between what the public were promised leaving the EU would look like and what the reality is, doing this may give clarity to the question of whether the UK really wants to leave the EU.

The alternative is the no-deal option which would see the UK leave the EU on March 29 without a Brexit deal and trading on WTO rules.

So, while some of us are departing from Edinburgh at 0500 to get into the office in London by 0930 on 2 January, Parliamentarians will mince back into the House of Commons at 1430 on 7 January after a long recess (no bitterness whatsoever from this DMA employee). At this point, you can expect much more of the same car-crash politics as you saw at the end of 2018 as debate over the Brexit deal continues and various options play out.

But, at least now you’ll be off the booze and sticking to your strict new gym regime, won’t you?

The external affairs team will be back manning the desks from tomorrow. Please do give us a shout with any Brexit questions. A great way to remind yourself of what went on in politics at the end of last year would be to listen to our new podcast, which covers all the goings on in politics and anything else relevant to the data and marketing industry.

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