By Qasim Swati (United Kingdom)
For, almost, the last three years since the UK referendum of June 23, 2016, for leaving or remaining in the European Union, Brexit has become a nightmare for both the United Kingdom as well as the rest of the EU member states. The process of Brexit has cost billions of pounds to the UK economy in less than a three-year-period since the Brexit referendum took place in 2016.
A report by Ben Chapman on Thursday, April 4, 2019, in The Independent reveals that the British economy has lost £66bn only in less than three years or Brexit has cost every person in the UK about £1,000 so far. The UK has missed out on £550m of economic growth on a weekly basis, and the businesses in the UK have immensely reduced investment and, approximately, 3 per cent has been wiped off GDP, as reported by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (an American financial services company, publishing financial research and analysis on commodities, bonds and stocks).
Even the weekly negative impact on the UK economic growth has been estimated by Goldman Sachs (an American multinational investment bank and financial services company, headquartered in New York City) to be £600m per week, and the Bank of England has put the figure at £800m instead.
Now, the recent local elections of 2019 for 248 English councils, held in May, have proved that the Brexit impasse has hit both The Conservative and Labour Parties, the two main political parties of the UK.
In response to the stalemate on the Brexit issue, the Conservatives have lost 1,269, the Labour Party 63, while the UKIP 36 seats on various councils. However, the major beneficiaries of the 2019 local elections in England have emerged to be the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems), Greens and Independents with massive gains of 676, 185 and 285, respectively.
But the story does not end for Labour and, particularly for Tories, here, as there seem to be dire consequences for both these main parties, as a result of the June 23, 2019, European elections, if the situation does not change and remains the same. The majority of the members and supporters of the Conservative Party and the Labour are not happy with the performance of the leadership of their respective parties, which can result in ending both the main UK political parties up in losing the European elections or suffering heavy losses, if not posing a complete disaster for both.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Theresa May has been struggling to get her Brexit deal passed through the Parliament. So far, she has attempted thrice to find a solution for getting her deal on Brexit done, but the deal has been defeated by the Commons each time.
Despite the continuous stand-off on Brexit resolution, the Government and the Labour (Opposition Party) tried to break the Brexit stalemate on 17 May 2019, but the talks between the two parties ended without reaching any deal. Consequently, the Brexit cross-party negotiations collapsed without finding a solution to the problem.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister is still optimistic and making another bid to push for another vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement bill for a fourth time by the MPs in early June.
As the Conservative Party and Labour are trying to bring their respective MPs, members and supporters together and bring an end to the split in the parties by uniting them once more for strengthening their positions in the national and international politics, other political parties in the country, like Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, the Lib Dems, Change UK – The Independent Group and The Green Party of England and Wales, are busy in benefiting from the division of both the main parties on Brexit.
The Liberal Democrats, Greens and Independents have already gained from the Brexit deadlock in the English local elections. However, the two emerging parties, the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, and Change UK – The Independent Group (both as the by-product of the ongoing Brexit impasse), are likely to take seats from the Conservatives and Labour in the forthcoming European elections, scheduled on Thursday, 23 May 2019.
Qasim Swati is a freelance journalist, writer, and human rights activist, based in the UK, and can be reached at https://qasimswati.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.