This article was first published on CityAM
At a dinner the other week, a friend of mine wondered whether Theresa May would have been treated – with quite so much patience, forbearance and courtesy – by her EU colleagues had she not been a woman. It’s a fair question.
Her reportedly dismal performance at the EU summit on 21 March must have been enough to make everyone present tear their hair out. With no plan put forward in the event that her deal is once again voted down in parliament (which seems likely now she has made enemies of almost all MPs), the European Council was forced to take matters into its own hands.
The approach offered is an elegant one. If the deal is approved, an extension until May allows the necessary legislation to be passed. If the deal is voted down, the UK will have two weeks to decide what to propose next. The new Brexit date in those circumstances is set at 12 April.
Or is it?
Can the EU really contemplate a no-deal exit? I would argue that it is difficult, if not impossible, for the EU to do so.
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