British Prime Minister Theresa May had a tough day in parliament on Tuesday, suffering a series of defeats that proved her government and the strength of her Brexit deal.
By the end of the day, Parliament had voted to scorn the May administration and take control of the future of Brexit. It was a great victory for pro-European MPs who disliked May's deal but wanted to avoid a "cliff scenario" where Britain and the EU split without agreement or transition.
It could not either. "It comes at a worse time for May, which is trying to sell its Brexit deal to parliament before a vote scheduled for Tuesday, December 1
On Tuesday, the contempt was against their government essentially – that is, in essence, that Parliament tells the government it prevents the body from doing its job – has never happened in British history.
Disregarding the vote was an embarrassment for May However, the vote was even bigger: Parliament voted to give itself the power to opt for a "Plan B" if the Brexit May's deal is defeated by May next week, which looks like it.
This will help change the situation course of Brexit and defense against the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. This could also increase the possibility of a second referendum or "referendum" that would burden the public. The events are still evolving, but a few things seem to be clear: Britain is still divided over Brexit, and Parliament's vote has changed The stakes ahead of the vote on the May deal next week.
The Parliament despises the government for disregarding legal advice
The first defeat in May of May came on Tuesday after the MPs had decided to despise the government for failing to provide complete legal guidance Brexit Deal or an assessment of the impact of the Withdrawal Agreement on the United Kingdom.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox had submitted an overview of the Legal Council to Parliament on Monday, but the government refused to release the full documents.
MPs accuse the government of hiding something. Cox replied that these documents are traditionally not published and he would openly answer the questions. "There's nothing to see here," he said, according to the BBC.
There were some differences of opinion, and MEPs voted between 311 and 293 to force the government to release. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Ireland party that holds May in place through its partnership with the Conservatives, has defended itself against the Alliance and voted with the opposition. (The May administration also lost a second vote when the ministers requested a delay by referring the matter to another committee.)
The government finally admitted and fully released the council on Wednesday. The subject was relatively close, experts said, but the action was against the bigger issues in the relationship between the parliament and the May administration.
The actual legal advice was however somewhat anti-climatic. Much has been said of what Cox had already told Parliament, although it intensified the debate in Parliament on Wednesday.
The big issue here is the "Irish backing" in the May Brexit deal. The backstop guarantees that the border between Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU) remains open, even though the United Kingdom and the EU can not agree on a ratio after Brexit.
The deal accomplishes this by creating an agreement whereby the UK will remain part of the EU Customs Union. The United Kingdom can not unilaterally withdraw from this system, which Brexiter believes could limit the United Kingdom indefinitely in relation to the EU. The legal evidence confirms Brexiteers' worst fears by warning that Britain may be stuck in "lengthy and repeated rounds of negotiations" for years.
The even bigger news: Parliament gets a Brexit Plan "B". 19659019] The historical contempt of disrespect showed the cracks in the May administration. However, another vote was far more consistent: Parliament approved an amendment to the May Treaty, with which they can have their say next time the May Brexit deal is flouted next week. And at the moment, that seems almost certain.
This vote, too, was embarrassing for May because members of their own conservative party had led the uprising, including their previous allies. A total of 26 conservative MPs joined the opposition Labor Party to agree to the change, which eventually passed 321 to 299.
However, these were not the hardliners for the Brexit that recently spoke out against May. These rebels came mostly from their party's pro-remain camp, which sees the brutal Brexit deal as the worse Britain left than it is now.
The amendment seeks to prevent Parliament from making a no-deal Brexit if May's deal fails. However, with support mostly from pro-MEPs, some see the possibility of a second referendum or official referendum on Brexit.
Second referendum supporters received another gift on Tuesday An Advocate General at the European Court of Justice issued a non-binding opinion stating that the United Kingdom can unilaterally revoke Brexit without any impact on EU member states.
This was not an official decision, but it was a win for the Professional -Remainer
A second referendum is still a tricky endeavor, since it has to happen before the Brexit appointment on March 29, 2019, or the EU must offer an extension. It is also not clear what the second referendum would call for: an overriding of the 2016 leave or a referendum? Mays Deal to bring the people to vote? Or a combination of all three?
The support for Brexit among the British has declined especially as it becomes clear that breaking up is messier than it has been announced and may be far more damaging to the economy. However, there is no guarantee that the UK wants to completely change its opinion on Brexit, and a good portion of the population that advocates leaving the EU will be doubly upset when it does: first, because Brexit is not taking place, and secondly, because it is effective makes the "Leaving Victory" 2016 null and void.
To be clear, there is no guarantee that a second referendum will take place. Parliament could use this new power to try to force May to return to the EU and renegotiate, although the EU leaders have already said that this is a deal. Or they could push for even softer Brexit, something that would bring Britain even closer together in the Customs Union and the Single Market – an institution that countries like Norway have.
There are many different possible outcomes. and therein lies the friction. Just because Parliament has now talked about a "Plan B" does not mean that Parliament knows what it really wants to do if the May deal fails. It remains divided, and though some Tories and the opposition have joined forces to say goodbye to this change, this alliance is shaky at best.
"Parliament is giving itself this power and that will be very influential," said Simon Usherwood, a professor at the University of Surrey and deputy director of an independent Brexit think tank. "However, at this point it is not clear what she can use this power for."
And there is another complication. This may not be bad news for May. The pro-European members of parliament have won a victory, which means that the chances of a "hard" or "no-deal" Brexit have just dropped.
This puts hardline brexiters under pressure: If they want a Brexit, the best vehicle could be to support the Brexit deal they despise – or risk a second referendum or an even closer relationship with the EU in the future.
This may not be enough to override May's approval. But now it looks like Parliament, not May, could soon have the power to decide Brexit.