The British Parliament still can not agree on which Brexit wants it.
MEPs had "preliminary votes" on Wednesday and gave eight options on how the UK should separate itself from the European Union. The goal of the process was to find out which Brexit plan could win a majority in the House of Commons after MEPs twice rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.
There is only one problem – no option has won a clear majority. 19659004] A plan for a second referendum, with a parliament-approved Brexit deal returning to the polls for vote, received the most votes. In second place was a customs union in which the United Kingdom would comply with the same customs rules as the EU.
Earlier that day, the Prime Minister had announced that she would resign if Parliament supported her Brexit plan, which was twice defeated in Parliament with very large margins. May is still planning to bring her deal for a third vote, possibly on Friday, though nothing has yet been decided.
The failure of the benchmark votes to break the congestion in parliament could boost their business, as May can argue that Parliament has tried to find an alternative. But even with May's promise to sacrifice her prime ministry, her deal may not yet gain enough support.
MEPs are expected to debate and vote on the options with the most votes on Monday to see if it is possible to win a majority for something . There are likely to be a few twists, but on Wednesday the action collapsed and what could happen next.
A Customs Union and People's Voices received the most votes
Here's a summary of the eight options and the results.
This means a crash from the EU without any agreement or transitional period and is the default option on April 12, when the UK can not approve a deal. Parliament has already refused to leave the EU without an agreement.
Also known as "Norway Plus". Not to be great in the weeds, but this is a very soft Brexit proposal, which means that Britain and the EU have very close economic ties. The model for this is Norway, which is not a member of the EU but has access to the EU single market, which generally means free movement of goods, capital, services and people. The "plus" here is because it would also mean joining a customs union. This went back 188-283.
The same as the plan above – but without the plus, which means no customs agreement. This lost 65-377.
This would allow membership in the Customs Union after Brexit, which means that the UK would comply with all EU customs legislation. This plan was indeed the most popular – he received 264 votes in favor and only 272 votes against – so he lost only eight votes.
This is the proposal of Jeremy Corbyn, who focuses on a future relationship that would result in membership of the Customs Union but with the ability of the UK to complete its own trade agreements. This would also allow alignment with internal market legislation and close cooperation in areas such as security and with certain EU institutions. It is not clear whether the EU would opt for this plan, as the cherry pickers in the UK may be selected to comply with EU rules. However, this is irrelevant for now, since he has lost 237 to 307.
- Repeal Article 50.
This essentially called for the Prime Minister to stop [Brexit] if the UK had no deal two days before the deadline and if Parliament agreed that it would not leave the EU without an agreement , (Article 50 is the mechanism in the EU Treaty of Lisbon that the United Kingdom uses to leave the bloc.) He has lost 184 to 293.
This implies that a Brexit deal approved by parliament must go back to the public for one year. Most of the votes went to 268, but 295 voted against, so it was outnumbered by the Customs Union.
This is similar to a plan already rejected by the EU, which would essentially result in the United Kingdom leaving the EU without an agreement. There would still be a transitional period when both sides negotiated free trade agreements. It was 139 to 422 defeated.
Not a single Brexit plan has received support from a majority of MPs in today's # indicativevotes
. The closest, who found a majority, were Clarke's Customs Union plan (49.2%) and Beckett's confirmation public voting plan (47.6%) pic.twitter.com/afXqKYaETU
– Ashley Kirk (@Ashley_J_Kirk) March 27, 2019
Okay, what does all this mean?
Oliver Letwin, the Conservative Member of Parliament who put forward the indicative vote, insisted that legislators should debate again on Monday, eliminate the biggest losers (no-deal, etc.) and debate again on Wednesday's votes and vote, probably the top four or so, but that's still unclear. While these may still fail to secure a majority, some of these plans, such as the second referendum and the lost Customs Union, received more votes than the May deal. It may therefore be possible to convert some MEPs to support one of these alternative plans.
Oh, and there is still May's deal.
Her announcement that she would resign if Parliament supported her third-party vote convinced a number of hardliners to support her, but she always has no votes yet to say goodbye. May's main ally in Northern Iceland – the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – has stated that they will continue to vote against the agreement, which means it's unlikely that it will find a third go-round race.
House Chairperson John Bercow also reiterated Wednesday that he would not allow a third Brexit vote without a much-changed deal. The May administration is attempting to get around this by submitting a part of the Brexit deal – the 585 resignation agreement – on Friday for a vote and leaving out the second part, which will be the political statement of the EU and the UK, a future one Negotiate economic partnership. This political declaration would be voted on separately at a different time.
It's about setting a deadline for Brexit on May 22nd. The EU stated that it would grant the United Kingdom an extension until that date if Parliament had by that time passed a resignation agreement this week. This would make it less likely that the United Kingdom would demand a longer, indefinite Brexit delay on 23 May, which would require participation in the European Parliament elections.
This chess board of the May government could be doomed to failure just as some MPs would not want to vote without this political statement. In addition, the holdouts of their deal, especially some Brexiteers and the DUP, still object to the resignation agreement.
So Britain is still stuck on Brexit after a day of drama.
Parliament has overwhelmingly changed the Brexit date on Wednesday, March 29th to April 12th, with overwhelming support. The UK has two weeks left to work out a plan – though nobody knows what the hell that could be.