BREXIT - What Happens Now?
by Dimitris Anastasiadis
What Happened Yesterday?
British MPs have voted for a delay in the Brexit process for three months or more, after struggling to agree on what terms the UK should leave the European Union on 29 March
The Story in 100 Words
Members of Parliament have struggled to agree how Britain should leave the EU on 29 March. Deals proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May (and agreed with the EU) have twice failed to get through the House of Commons. Now, MPs hope their 413 to 202 vote on Thursday will help them agree a deal. Any problem? Yes - the Brexit deadline is legally binding, and can't be extended without the agreement of all 27 other EU countries. Even if the deadline is extended to help prompt the divided British Parliament (and divided governing Conservative Party) to agree a Brexit deal, there's no guarantee they will.
So Brexit will be delayed?
Yes – on the assumption the EU member states unanimously agree. If they do not – which seems unlikely – the UK still leaves on 29 March, but without a deal. The government motion decrees that the government will seek agreement with the EU for an extension to article 50 beyond 29 March. It says that if a Brexit plan is agreed by 20 March – it is widely assumed May will have a third try at squeezing her deal through the House of Commons early next week – then there will be a brief extension, until 30 June, allowing legislation to pass. If not, it will be for longer.
What happens if the UK leaves without a deal?
Is this it for a second referendum?
It depends who you ask. Brexiters reacted to the crushing defeat of the plan by cheerily tweeting about its demise. But supporters of the scheme were adamant that this was an inevitable defeat for a premature attempt to force the issue. It is nonetheless a setback for them. What is – and always was – obvious is that if the plan is ever to pass in the Commons it will need the wholehearted support of the Labour leadership.
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