On Friday March 29, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May was unable to secure the votes needed for a Brexit deal, reports CNN. The vote came to 344 against withdrawal and 286 for. Of the many possibilities moving forward, due to the recent vote, it appears that a no-deal Brexit is likely to occur on April 12.
In light of growing uncertainty and tension, May plans yet again to present to the UK parliament next week, says The Guardian. This will be her fourth try, and very well could be her last, as alternative options are growing more popular amongst members of parliament (MP) and the public.
Last week, May was able to secure an extension from the European Union. This means that the UK would have stayed in the EU until May 22, as long as May’s plan was passed in parliament on its third try this week. If her plan was denied, then the UK would only have until April 12 to come up with a new deal, ask for another delay, or exit the EU with no plan at all. Because of this week’s turn of events, May will have to attend an emergency meeting with the EU on April 10.
Now that there is at least some extra time, the public appears to want another referendum in order to revoke article 50, a step that would not need EU approval. Hundreds of thousands of protestors marched on London in what was dubbed “put it to the people,” to call for this referendum. Many notable people attended, including MPs from all sides, popular sports figures, and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Nonetheless, a second referendum is only one outcome in this situation, and even then, the decision of that referendum is unknown. Many options for the UK have surfaced because of the delay and recent parliamentary decision.
One option is that May could step down, thereby triggering a general election. The Guardian further reports that she and parliament seem “poised” to take this route. Indeed, Fox reports that MP Jeremy Corbyn, opposition party leader, is calling for her to “resign immediately.” Many other MPs and their constituents share this sentiment.
Also, as stated, May will go before the EU again on April 10, where the members expect her to ask for another delay. However, this would force Britain to hold EU elections in less than two months. Prime Minister May is hoping that may not be necessary, and the May 22 date is still possible if her deal is passed in its fourth try next week.
Overall, there is complete uncertainty in the UK about what will happen in the coming months. There could be a deal, no deal, extension, or crash-out on April 12. There could be a general election, or not.
The events surrounding Brexit have not gone without affecting the rest of Europe. The Washington Post points out this changing atmosphere, stating that newly elected populist leaders in nations like the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Austria, have changed their stances from wanting to replicate what was done in Britain, to avoiding a similar exit.
These nations would rather change the EU bloc from the inside out. In general, the EU’s approval ratings have spiked of late, and any suggestion of such countries leaving has become irrelevant. For example, when a Dutch politician suggested leaving, the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte responded by stating, “You want to push the Netherlands into chaos too.”