Brexit’s ‘only certainty is uncertainty’ – UK minister

The UK appeared for all intents and purposes to be teetering on the edge of Make-or-Break Creek, not knowing whether it should take a sane step back or boldly go where no other country has gone before – enter the unknown that’s called a no-deal Brexit.

And as British PM Theresa May headed into to yet another parliamentary vote after the tepid talks that her attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, had held with Brussels over sticky customs issues, leavers and remainers all seemed to agree that aiming to leave the EU by March 29 was pure madness.

Interviewed on TV recently, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt made a strong argument for a delay but for not too long.

Referring to the growing chorus inside parliament that the UK could be set on course to economic disaster, Hunt indicated that Brexit could work and work well, just not by the end of the month.

In support of more time to fine-tune complexities that have remain unresolved for recalcitrant negotiators, such as the Irish border that the EU wants closed but the UK wants open, Hunt speculated that enough momentum existed to finally reach consensus if more time was set aside for it.

He warned though that if not by the predetermined date, the UK should leave not long after March 29 “because there is wind in the sails of people trying to stop Brexit”.

And indeed there is.

With a deal in hand that’s achieved precious little since the last time it was roundly rejected by parliamentary vote, May could be out of a job by the end of the week if she is defeated again, and the prospect of another humiliation tomorrow seems very likely.

Her principle prop-up partner holding together her fraying coalition, Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party, told the Sunday Telegraph that “the political situation is grim”.

In the meantime a growing chorus from within and outside her own ranks are calling for a snap referendum that, if it came back with a “yes” to stay in the EU and reverse the entire process started in 2016, could put the UK in a tailspin.

Such a move could usher in early elections and is something the Conservative Party wants to avoid at all costs as it would amount to an admission of rank failure.

Either way, as the 29th nears, anxiety mounts because, to quote one of May’s trusted ministers: “The only certainty is uncertainty.”

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