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BREXIT: 'People Are Starting To Hoard Food'

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Swansea politics expert Dr Matthew Wall says 'panic' is his biggest concern

Theresa May has faced a monumental defeat in the Commons over her withdrawal agreement deal.

MPs rejected the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons last night, with an overwhelming majority of 230.

Ms May now has twelve hours to save her job, as she faces a no-confidence vote later, tabled by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The PM is expected to win the vote, as the Democratic Unionist Party has said it will support her.

Theresa May's now promising cross-party talks to try to salvage a workable Brexit deal.

'Catastrophic Crisis'

So with the UK's political and economical future in chaos, we have been finding out what a politics expert in Wales thinks of the latest developments in Westminster.

Dr Matthew Wall is an associate Professor in Politics at Swansea University.

Originally from Dublin, Matthew has been living and working in Swansea for the last six and a half years.

He told us his expert views on the current situation.

"It is extremely negative. There are kind of boxes within boxes.

"At the UK level Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England are all facing different pressures.

"At Westminster, we have had the government historically divided and then between the UK and the EU we also have a sort of stand off.

"There is complex multi-level problem and at each level there is a catastrophic crises unfolding.

"My biggest concern is panic. People are already beginning to hoard food in the UK. It is happening.

"You can find these food boxes, these survival boxes for three-hundred-pounds. People are doing it.

"What I find alarming is how fragile really our society is. How much it relies on things like supply chains and logistics that we do not usually see and how a small disruption, at critical points and a panic of social media, although unlikely, that would be the thing I would be worried about happening."

 

Theresa May's authority as a Prime Minister capable of leading the UK through a smooth European Union divorce has been questioned by members of Parliament, including those within her own party.

Eleven ministers have handed in their notice since the Brexit negotiations began, including Brexit Secretary David Davis and his replacement, Dominic Raab.

Dr Wall said Ms May has been fighting an uphill battle,

"During the [EU] referendum people called her the submarine because she was not that visible.

"So consequently she has never really had the backing of those people who think we should just wave two fingers at the EU and go out with no deal and wait for them to come back begging for us because they need us more than we need them.

"That has never been her position, so no matter how hard she has tried with her red lines in the negotiations on leaving the customs union, on leaving the common market, she has never really had those people on-board because she is not a true believer."

On the vote of no confidence in Theresa May's Government, Dr Wall thinks she will win, but admits that is neither good or bad news.

"The DUP say they will back her because they do not want Jeremy Corbyn.

"So again the UK finds itself running in sort of a circle. It is stuck spinning around.

"She will survive today's vote and then have to come back Monday with her plan B."

And what about a second referendum option?

"I think no deal is not likely to win in a referendum. So what happens then? So we just cancel Brexit.

"I think the politicians need to sort this. You can not just kick it back to the people. 

"We have a parliamentary democracy.

"If you are asked to vote over and over again until you get the right answer that is not really democracy."

'Who is going to miss out? Wales'

Dr Wall has lived in many European countries including France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

We asked the 35-year-old professor to tell us his personal views on Brexit.

"I find it very saddening. I have colleagues from across Europe and I feel that makes my life richer.

"I feel like I bring something here.

"I like meeting people from different cultures and living with them and it would be sad if we could not do that anymore.

He has his concerns for Wales and Swansea too.

"We have this beautiful new Bay Campus and that was massively part funded by the European Union. I have received EU funding in my own research.

"A lot of my colleagues come from the EU and a lot of our students come from the European Union and that is just my sector.

"Wales as a region also has designated funding from the EU that is why you see the EU symbol on flags around the place.

"Will Westminster replace that directly pound for pound or euro for euro? 

"If you look at the policy it says they are going to start redistributing money more widely across the UK.

"Who is going to lose out? In my opinion, Wales."

So here are Theresa May's options moving forward:

1. May tries to get a better deal with the EU

2. The PM brings her original deal back for another vote

3. No deal - 'hard Brexit'

4. Brexit is delayed

An extension of Article 50 (the legal process that triggered the two-year window for Britain to negotiate a deal) has been gaining traction in recent weeks.

But the EU would have to agree to it - and they may only do so in the event of a major shift in British politics (like holding a second referendum or there being a general election).

Mrs May could opt for this to give her more time to get her deal through the Commons, but it may simply delay the inevitable.

5. General election

A successful no-confidence motion automatically triggers a 14-day countdown to a general election.

If no government is formed, the nation goes to the polls.

Labour's first preference is for there to be a general election - the aim of tabling a no confidence motion in the first place.

Mr Corbyn is confident of winning an election and has pledged to go back to Brussels and negotiate a better deal than the one currently on the table.

6. Second referendum

Supporters say this is the only way to resolve the division currently engulfing Westminster.

But the path to another vote is a long one.

Mrs May has consistently spoken out against the idea and Mr Corbyn has promised to renegotiate the PM's deal and deliver Brexit if he wins power.

One of them would need to have a change of heart and table legislation in parliament to allow another referendum to take place.

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