There has been much political activity this month, including the resignation of MPs from both sides of the House; and although there have been many discussions about Brexit, there hasn’t really been much progress.
At the end of last month Parliament voted to attempt renegotiation of the Backstop arrangement, and Mrs May is still in talks with various European leaders to find a resolution she can bring back to London with some degree of confidence in time for the all-important “Meaningful Vote”, which has now been pushed back to 12th March. However, the Irish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney, is strongly opposed to any changes to the Backstop, stating “The withdrawal agreement wording is not going to change. The space we are in here is trying to provide reassurance”.
Two other pieces of business we will be watching closely are the Spring Statement, due on the 13th March, to see what, if any, no-deal preparation is being put in place. There is also a vote due on 27th February to give parliament the power to force a Brexit delay, 13th March is the deadline by which, if the government has not ratified its Brexit deal, it must allow MPs to either vote for a no-deal Brexit, or for an extension of Article 50 (or potentially a further people’s vote) if there is no agreed deal by this date.
So we could have an outcome in two short weeks or potentially we could have kicked the can down the road and have requested an extension to Article 50 – which, as we watch, seems to be increasingly likely.