The UK was set to leave the EU in just 15 days time until MP’s voted to delay ‘Brexit Day’ that is.
So, what happens now?
How long is the delay?
The earlier vote authorises the Prime Minister to ask the EU to extend Article 50 until June 30th – that is only if MP’s vote in favour of her Brexit deal when it is put in front of them to vote on for the third time next week.
The short delay would be necessary to allow new legislation to be passed.
Should MP’s reject Theresa Mays deal again a longer extension will be needed to try work out what the next steps are.
Will the EU agree?
If the UK is going to extend Article 50, all 27 of the EU leaders have to say yes.
They more than likely will, but only if there is “credible justification” for doing so.
It takes only one EU member to refuse for the extension to be denied.
Can we still leave with no-deal?
Yes. MP’s voting against no-deal on yesterday evening was not a change to the law, merely an expression of their opinions.
No-deal is the default outcome if there is no agreement between the UK and Brussels before Brexit Day – Whether that me March or June.
How long have we got to sort this out?
It has taken two years to get to this point but MP’s are now left with just 7 days to come to an agreement of the next steps. Any decision by Brussels to grant the UK an extension would have to be made at the next EU summit next Thursday.
Will the government revoke Article 50?
The British government can decide to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 at any time.
Unlike the extension, it does not have to get the EU leaders to agree however it is highly unlikely Theresa May is going to take up this option.
Is there going to be another referendum?
Earlier this evening MP’s voted against holding a second referendum by 334 votes to 85 which makes a second ‘once in a lifetime vote’ unlikely unless there is a lengthy delay to Brexit.
Should the EU grant the government request to extend Brexit until June there would not be enough time for a second referendum to be held.
However, should MP’s vote against Theresa May’s ‘deal’ then there is likely to be a longer delay, possibly a further two years which will leave enough time for parliament to legislate for a second public vote.
What about another general election?
No. 10 has said it is “not preparing for and we do not want a general election”.
Downing St: ‘we are not preparing for and we do not want a general election.’
— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) March 12, 2019
This does not mean there will not be one though.
Labour have failed once already to force a general election by tabling a vote of no confidence in the government and it is highly likely they will take a second shot at the motion.
Will Theresa May resign?
After surviving an attempt by Tory backbenchers to get rid of her in December, the Prime Minister is safe from another Tory challenge, at least until Christmas.
Should she lose her third vote next Wednesday then she may well decide to give it all up and walk away.
Then who would become PM?