British Prime Minister Theresa May just faced the biggest defeat in the Parliament over Brexit vote as the MPs rejected the proposed Brexit deal with an overwhelming margin of 230 votes. With the Brexit clock ticking for just 73 days, Britain might as well be left with a no-deal exit from the European Union; or the country can witness a general election.
After the Parliamentary Brexit vote conducted on Tuesday, there has been a constant stream of information and possibilities that you could be forgiven to feel a little confused. So, breaking down the entire thing in simpler terms, here’s what happened and what is likely to happen. Back in 2016, the Theresa May government tabled the deal for exit of Britain from the European Union (EU), which was coined as “Brexit”, and a plan was set out for how UK will leave EU on March 29, 2019.
This plan covered things like what happens to the UK citizens residing in EU – and vice versa, how much UK will have to pay to quit, and what the visa and entry-exit policies will be like for both the sides. But after two years of negotiation, the British Parliament has voted out the proposed deal with an overwhelming 230 votes against it, among which, 118 were members of Theresa May’s own party – showing how unpopular the deal was. This was the worst defeat for a sitting government in the history of Britain, during the time when even a defeat with one vote would prove catastrophic, never mind 230 – and that trashes the entire Brexit deal, right away.
So currently, with only two and a little bit more (73 days) left for Brexit, UK has no deal on hand and it doesn’t seem to be agreeing how exactly it will leave the EU. Usually, over a 50% vote out in the House means the prime minister resigns – but, since this is no usual scenario – instead of resignation, a no-confidence motion has been tabled by Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. If the MPs vote for confidence in the government on Wednesday evening, May will have to come up with a new Brexit plan on Monday.
But if the MPs decided to not let the government continue, Britain will face a general election to elect a new prime minister – who can propose an agreeable deal, and negotiate with the EU for a smooth exit. In that case, the UK could ask for a delay in Brexit by proposing another referendum and negotiate a brand new deal with the EU. And if none of this happens, Britain will be forced to leave EU on March 29th, 2019 without any formal agreement, zero transition period and a ruptured relationship with Europe. Either way, the irony is, the once-global-conqueror Britain is now in uncharted territory and the Brexit clock is ticking invincibly.