Brexit countdown: Is it getting close to the end of the process?
Dialogue with Yang Rui
As nine weeks are left for the Brexit deadline, the newly-elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent a request to suspend the U.K. Parliament till October 14 and was then approved by the British Queen. It means that the opposition parties will be left with less than three weeks to take counter-hard-Brexit measures.
After this move by Johnson, nationwide protests have broken out across the UK, spreading out in more than 30 towns and cities. Cui Hongjian, the director of the department for European Studies at China Institute of International Studies, explained that although Johnson's move is within the law, it should take "the spirit of democracy" into account.
"Now, the biggest problem for British people and politicians is to find out a real place for democracy in the referendum and the parliament," he said. Cui further explained that it should, firstly, give people a clear deadline of concluding the Brexit process from Johnson; and if Mr. Johnson fails to end the process that leads to the snap election, he will still take a lead in the competition with the opposition parties.
Professor Thom Brooks, the dean and chair in Law and Government at Durham University, said the protests across the country against parliament suspension are an unusual situation. He regards what is facing Johnson is a mutiny and said he will soon face substantial fight-backs. He describes Johnson as "a desperate man who is doing a desperate measure. He knows that he is really running roughshod over the constitution, and this is the only chance for him trying to hold these strips together, and keeping everyone on board, which will threaten them with their political careers."
As for an alternative option for the opposition parties, it's a vote of no-confidence before September 10. Even though it will present a slim chance of success, it's the only way to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
In that case, what will happen if Johnson encounters a no-confidence vote?
Fraser Cameron, the director of the EU-Asia Centre in Brussels, said that the EU's position on the Brexit is hoping to eventually get resolved as the withdrawal agreement that was on the table won't have any changes. But he reflected that Johnson used the no-deal Brexit to only promote his political career and he doesn't have a fixed position. Moreover, "Boris Johnson knows a no-deal Brexit will be a disaster for the U.K. and he knows there will have some changes in the end," he said. Then, he emphasized the proposed deadline of October 31 won't be the end. Instead, it is the beginning.
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