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Brexit-1 and Brexit-2

The so-called "Bremains", supporters of Britain's membership in the EU, are going to give the government the "final and decisive battle." If the House of Lords does not approve the bill, the country is under threat of early parliamentary elections.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled out the appeal of Theresa May's government regarding the introduction of procedures of the Lisbon Treaty's Article 50 (the UK withdrawal from the European Union). The Court's decision granted the right to vote on the relevant draft law to both Houses of the UK Parliament. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which favors to keep Britain's membership in the EU and threatens a second referendum on the independence of Scotland, intends to introduce 50 "serious and fundamental" amendments to the bill. The Labour Party also intends to delay the procedure by several amendments, although in general the party will vote for the introduction of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. However, in the House of Commons the Conservative government has a working majority of 15 votes, that is, the lower house will vote for the Government bill, even with amendments.

As to the House of Lords, the Conservatives do not have a majority there, and so-called "Bremains", supporters of Britain's membership in the EU, are going to give the government the "final and decisive battle." If the upper chamber does not approve the bill, the country is under threat of early parliamentary elections. Given the significant differences inside the Labour Party, a fairly high rating of the Conservatives, especially the personal rating of Prime Minister Theresa May, compared with the Labour's leader Jeremy Corbin, the outcome of early elections is quite predictable, even if we take into account a more acute struggle between "Brexiteers" and "Bremains" in the Conservative party.

Thus, the parties do not intend to put weapons in cases, especially when Theresa May in her speech before foreign ambassadors on January 17 decided to choose the "hard" Brexit. It means that the Great Britain will take the line of the country's exit from the Common market and the EU Customs Union with no concessions regarding the free movement of labor. The "soft" Brexit meant the preservation of some form of British participation in the Common market and the Customs Union while maintaining the freedom of movement of labor.

Indeed, the free movement of capital, goods and services logically implies a free movement of workers following the capital, goods and services. However, the latter condition is not purely economic and in some sense "technical" in nature, but also received strong political and social significance. In fact, immigration from the European Union was one of the main reasons for British dissatisfaction with the European Union.

The EU is not ready to give in on this issue, stating that no EU member state has the right to "eat only cherries from the cake", that is to receive some preferences. Indeed, in this case other countries will also want to get special conditions for themselves. Moreover, the EU does not intend to provide Britain more favorable conditions on the withdrawal procedure, than those that it had as a member of the EU.

In her speech the British prime minister apparently put forward the thesis of the "hard" Brexit, realizing that the other option will not be available for the country. Both sides will suffer, although the EU imports more to the United Kingdom than the latter to the continent. At the same time, the president of the United States Donald Trump promised to rearrange Britain "in the queue" for the conclusion of the trade agreement and to allow the City of London's access to the Wall Street. Previously Obama, trying to keep the Great Britain in the EU, said before the June referendum, that in the US-EU TTIP negotiations the Great Britain "will be moved to the end of the queue."

In July 2016, David Cameron and just assuming office Theresa May hastily put to the vote in the Parliament a draft law on the modernization of the Trident nuclear system. Here the Great Britain depends on the US, as well as on other security and intelligence issues. The "Special relationship" between the United States and Britain still exists and may receive new impetus, especially since Donald Trump welcomed Brexit, and Trump's victory in the USA is often called "Brexit-2."

Theresa May's visit to Washington will take place on 27 January. President Trump intends to treat Theresa as "his Maggie", referring to the close relationship between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the US President Ronald Reagan. Will the Brexit-2 be "soft" for the UK? The results of the talks, though not all, we will know very soon.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.