Westminster Parliament confirmed the Brexit follow-up agreement by a vote of 521 to 73 – but the rejection outside London would not have been more clear. Only Wales has approved the debate by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in three state parliaments. Scotland and Northern Ireland rejected the agreement. The two had already voted against leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Your current rejection is primarily a symbolic one – but it is not conducive to future discussions and the unity of the country.
In Scotland, President Nicola Sturgeon has slammed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s agreement to present his country as a small gift for Christmas celebrations. Edinburgh MPs voted 92 to 30 against the agreement, with Sturgeon and his Scottish National Party (SNP) commenting that the country has “no advantages, only great disadvantages”. Her party refuses to take part in “causing serious damage to Scotland’s environmental, economic and social interests.”
In addition to the Greens and the Liberal Democrats, the Labor Party in Scotland also participated in the proposal – and received strong criticism in other parts of the country. Labor leader Carey Stormer has vowed to support the deal. After all, it’s better than starting the New Year without a follow-up deal.
State party leader Richard Leonard justified his revolt against this Labor demand, and received cross-party support when he proposed extending the law to the Brexit follow-up agreement. Among other things, he calls for an equivalent replacement for the Erasmus Exchange program for students, from which he now goes to Great Britain.
Rare agreement in Northern Ireland – on finding the victim
In the northern Irish capital, Belfast, 47 MPs voted against the deal, while 38 voted in favor. Members of Parliament and Scots reminded that part of their country had voted against leaving the EU from the beginning and was not ready to accept its devastating consequences.
On the question of who was to blame, there was little agreement between the outgoing opposition Sinn Fin party and the pro-British Ulster Unionists. The pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the strongest ruling party in Northern Ireland, is responsible for the unfortunate deal.
As a former ally partner of the British Conservatives, the DUP supported the Brexit course – but abandoned it with its terms after the Conservatives won their permanent majority. As a result, Johnson broke his promise that there would be no customs restrictions between Northern Ireland and other countries – this will happen from 1 January 2021. The Unionists fear that this will alienate them from Great Britain and lose prominence within the country.
“It’s a shame,” said Mervyn Gibson, general secretary of the pro-British Protestant Orange Order of Reuters news agency in front of his home in Belfast. “The Prime Minister abandoned us and betrayed us.”
The DUP has denied the effective maritime border offense since January. On the contrary, pro-Irish parties created this situation by rejecting land border controls with the Republic of Ireland – an alternative to the maritime border, the DUP declared. The European Union also rejected the tough land border, which threatened peace on the Irish island.
Cardiff disappointed but contracted
Wales was the only country outside the country to recognize Brexit in 2016 – with 28 to 24 votes in the current vote, changing Johnson’s contract. However, even there, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford spoke of a “thin and disappointing” deal. After all, you can build deals and negotiate better deals in the future, the country manager said.
Labor has a majority in the Welsh Parliament – members of parliament, unlike their Scottish party friends, have stood firm in the Labor Party line in support of the agreement.
In the vote on the Brexit follow-up agreement, the state parliaments had only a symbolic handle. Yet their rejection of the course of government shows how bad the unity of the country is.
In Northern Ireland, for example, Brexit is increasingly seen as an opportunity to regain independence from London after 100 years of contact with the nationalist Sinn Fin United Kingdom. “More and more people are wondering what their identity is outside the EU and what Brexit has done with their identity,” said John O’Dowd, now MP for the Synagogue in the Northern Irish Parliament. He pointed out that the possible solution was to merge with the Republic of Ireland.
In Scotland on Christmas Eve, the SNP advertised independence from Great Britain and its membership of the European Union on Twitter: “We have never voted for this radical Tory deal.”
The head of government generously reported to the London leadership: “The system in Westminster can no longer be fixed,” she said during the vote, adding that Scotland’s opinion had always been ignored in London. Even before Brexit, your SNP demanded that Scotland be liberated from the United Kingdom, and if it succeeds, it would like to rejoin the European Union as a separate country. “As an independent European country, we deserve the best deal possible.”