Odds are against Boris as Brexit deal faces crunch vote

The signals coming from various political parties are not positive for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hours ahead of the crunch vote on the revised Brexit deal in the House of Commons on Saturday.

Opposition parties have already rejected the last-minute deal struck on Thursday between Johnson and the European Union and described it as worse than the earlier agreement reached between his predecessor Theresa May and the European bloc.

It hurts Northern Ireland and Scotland the most, according to them.

Arlene Isabel Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has made it clear that her party cannot vote for a deal that is not in the best interests of Northern Ireland.

Since Johnson’s party does not enjoy majority in the 650-member House of Commons, the 10 DUP votes and the stand of 18 rebel Labour MPs on the new Brexit deal will prove crucial for him. But the chances of getting a total of 38 votes from these two groups appear remote now.

Johnson needs the support of 50% of MPs (or 325 votes) to get his new Brexit deal approved by the Commons. To achieve this, he has to bring 37 more opposition MPs to his side.

Ten DUP votes for the new Brexit deal, although unlikely, could swing the votes of 28 Brexit hardliners in Johnson’s favour. But DUP has hardened its stand on the revised Brexit deal in the past 24 hours.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sees the Brexit deal as asell-out which should be rejected.

Liberal Democrats too are determined to stop Brexit. Its leader Jo Swinson vowed to continue her fight for a second referendum on Brexit.

Ian Blackford, Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Westminster leader, wants Brexit extension by three months so as to hold an early general election.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon thinks the new deal would take Scotland out of the EU, single market and customs union against its will.

According to Sturgeon, the only option now for Scotland is to become independent and be in charge of its own future.

It is time to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, she said.

After calling the new deal fair and balanced, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out further extension of Brexit.

Johnson and EU’s lead Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier are confident the deal can be ratified by October 31.

Barnier claims they have found a solution to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. According to him, the deal highlights the protection of “peace and stability” on the island of Ireland.

Johnson calls his own deal “great”.

The special sitting of the House of Commons will have its say on it in a few hours.