According to Philip Hammond, the finance minister, the United Kingdom will probably have to delay its departure from the European Union if the lawmakers decide to turn down the proposed divorce deal of the government in a vote next week.
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union in 22 days, however, if the lawmakers turn down the deal this will put in doubt how, when or possibly even if the biggest foreign and trade policy shift of the United Kingdom in more than 40 years will take place.
Hammond, in an interview with broadcasters, stated: “If we don’t pass the meaningful vote on Tuesday we’ll go into a parliamentary process that very likely will lead to an extension of time and an uncertain outcome, more uncertainty for the British economy, more uncertainty for people across the country,”
He added: “It’s very important that my colleagues think about the consequences of not agreeing on this deal. This is now the last chance to be confident that we can get this deal done and we can leave the EU on schedule.”
PM May is having a hard time to convince the European Union to agree to the changes to the so-called Irish backstop, an insurance policy that is aimed to prevent a hard border between the UK province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland if ever a future trading relationship falls short.
This week, the discussions led by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox failed to secure the agreement with the European Union, with officials in Brussels slamming the proposals of the British side and telling the top lawyer of May to rework them and come back on Friday.
One government source from the United Kingdom said with the European Union showing no sign of moving in the negotiations, there was little hope that anything could change over the next 48 hours, raising doubts over whether May can win support for her deal in the big vote that is scheduled next Tuesday.