The Brexit Plan Just Failed Again: What Happened, and What’s Next? – The New York Times

Even before the attorney general had issued his analysis, other legal experts had expressed similar opinions.

Apparently, the most that can be said for the changes is that they reinforce the notion that Britain can opt out of European trading rules if officials in Brussels are found to be negotiating in bad faith.

“In the real world,” wrote Michael Dougan, a professor of European law at the University of Liverpool, “such a prospect should be considered almost entirely theoretical, if not altogether fanciful.”

Three experts in European and international law, commissioned by Brexit opponents to consider Mrs. May’s last-minute tweaks, wrote in an 11-page opinion, “The backstop will endure indefinitely, unless and until superseded by another agreement, save in the extreme and unlikely event that in future negotiations the E.U. acts in bad faith in rejecting the U.K.’s demands.”

Government figures published on Tuesday showed very weak economic growth in Britain, just 0.2 percent in the three-month period that ended in January.

“Growth remained weak with falls in manufacture of metal products, cars and construction repair work all dampening growth,” Rob Kent-Smith, the leader of the team that compiled the report, said in a statement.

Investment in auto manufacturing and other sectors has taken a hit as the country has stumbled toward Brexit. Manufacturers have pleaded with the government for some certainty so they can plan ahead, but many have opted to take their business elsewhere.


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