What seemed to be the worst case scenario might really happen: the United Kingdom is highly likely to get out of the European Union without a Brexit deal, BBC reported this morning.
According to the national news channel, members of the parliament will vote today on whether to leave the EU without a deal. Earlier on this week, they rejected the PM’s withdrawal agreement.
If the ‘no’ wins, this would only confirm the deep division within the country and make any kind of deal impossible with the old Continent.
Here is what you need to know on the vote that will happen later on today.
What is the vote for?
While British Prime Minister Theresa May’s vote was yet again defeated yesterday in the Commons by 149 votes, a solution has still not been found.
Members of parliament will vote on a government motion that captions: “This House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework on the future relationship on 29 March”.
British MPs will vote Wednesday on whether the country should leave the EU without a deal in just over two weeks, after they overwhelmingly rejected a draft divorce agreement late Tuesday https://t.co/vGbZDCZ4nJ #NoDeal #NoDealVote pic.twitter.com/7by7afenXp
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 13, 2019
As the BBC reports, Theresa May, who has currently been chairing a cabinet meeting, told Tory MPs that they will get a “free vote”. This carte blanche, which is an extremely rare move in politics, is a sign that May’s politics has been a huge defeat for a tweaked version of Brexit.
Right after the vote, Prime Minister’s Questions will start the “no-deal debate”, right before Chancellor Philip Hammond shares his spring statement economic update. While there are only 16 days remaining, the United Kingdom is trying to extend the duration of the talk.
Read our story on Alveox: “Brexit: What We Learnt About the Art of Negotiating”
However, if the “no-deal is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on delaying Brexit by extending Article 50 – the legal mechanism that takes the UK out of the EU”, adds the BBC.
On the other side of the Channel, Brussels as said that it would need “a credible justification” to grant the extension and that each and every country of the European Union would have to agree.
What are the alternative deals?
What worries most Brits at the moment, is that the government needs to find an alternative to Theresa May’s deal, in case it does not go through.
While each episode has been hard to track for every political reporter, the BBC has published a chart to understand better the deadline. The chart is so complex and difficult to understand that it quickly became viral online.
— Lucy Marks (@LucyMarks) March 12, 2019
To put it in a nutshell: May tried to convince the members of parliament to support her deal, a few minutes after the managed to secure “legal assurances on the Irish backstop from the EU” during late-night talks in Strasbourg on Monday, reports Reuters.
While she only managed to convince 40 Tory MPs, more than 230 members voted against her, providing her the same pain she went under last January, during the first vote. Right after this second vote, Theresa May said that her own MPs would have carte blanche on whether they would like to delay Brexit, hold another referendum or even express other opinions.
This came as a shock for the Tory party, in an unprecedented voting advice. As a result, the result of the next vote remains completely unknown.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Labour party has judged the PM’s deal “dead” and has urged the government to “take off the table”. Labour said it would keep on proposing alternatives, including a “customs union”.
Last but not least, Conservative Brexiteers and Remainers have called for alternatives to be seriously considered.
What is going to happen next?
After the vote on Wednesday and depending on what will happen, the MPs might have to draft a new alternative.
However, many experts agree that the most likely situation is that the ensemble of the parties will agree to draft a no-deal Brexit, in order to make the transition as fast as possible.
A few left-wing politicians remain optimistic, saying that there might be a good chance that the negotiations are pushed back until May, 22nd.
As the BBC explains, members of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs have drafted an amendment that would see the UK leave without a formal agreement, “with the backstop being replaced by alternative arrangements and a series of “standstill” economic arrangements until the end of 2021 to minimise disruption.”
Cancel #Brexit, another referendum, a different deal…?
— Glenn Campbell (@GlennBBC) March 12, 2019
Steve Baker, the organisation’s vice-chairman, told BBC News “the proposal – which would see Brexit delayed until 22 May – was eminently reasonable” and was supported by the Democratic Unionists and former Remain ministers like Nicky Morgan and Damian Green.
It is only a matter of hours before we know what is going to happen next, while the majority of the British people are bracing for a no-deal Brexit.