Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What now?

Parliament said "No" to the PM's deal and now to "No Deal Brexit." And the next step is…?

MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit
In a night of high drama in the Commons, MPs surprised the government and voted by 312 to 308 to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances.

The vote is not binding - under current law the UK could still leave without a deal on 29 March.

On Thursday, MPs will vote on whether to ask the EU for permission to delay the date for departure.

There could be a short extension - or a much longer one - depending on whether MPs backed the prime minister's existing withdrawal deal that has been agreed with the EU by 20 March, the government says.

That means Theresa May could make a third attempt to get her deal through Parliament in the next few days…

Looking down from the press gallery, some ministers could be seen wrestling with their conscience: hating the idea of a no-deal Brexit, hating the idea of defying the government - and not quite clear if they'd lose their jobs if they did.

Thirteen ministers, including four in the cabinet, could not bring themselves to back the government.

Afterwards, some ministers were seen literally running away, such is the anger tonight has provoked.

So, "what's going to happen next?" seemed like a reasonable question to a minister.

"I've no idea. Find me someone who has and I'll find you a liar," came the reply…

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