The Straits Times says

All Britain's choices on Brexit are hard

With just over four months left to March 29 next year - the date Britain is set to leave the European Union (EU) - the critical issue of the terms of its departure are still up in the air. Prime Minister Theresa May is in Brussels to finalise a withdrawal agreement her government has reached with the EU on Brexit, which will be voted on at an extraordinary EU summit over the weekend. There are still some unresolved issues to iron out, including whether Gibraltar - a British overseas territory claimed by Spain - should be included in the agreement; and fishing rights for the EU in British territorial waters.

However, Mrs May's biggest problems lie not with the EU, which in all likelihood will approve the deal, but with her own Parliament. Almost unanimously and across party lines, British MPs greeted with hostility and derision the draft agreement Mrs May negotiated. Brexiters viewed it as a betrayal of the pro-Brexit vote in the 2016 referendum, in that it would not enable Britain to take back control of trade and regulation. On the other hand, the "remainers", some of whom resigned from Mrs May's Cabinet, saw the agreement as inferior to remaining within the EU, in that Britain would need to abide by EU rules without having any say in their making. If, as seems likely, Parliament votes against the deal next month, all future options would be either impossible, painful or risky.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'All Britain's choices on Brexit are hard'. Print Edition | Subscribe