May 23, 2019

Theresa May's New Option

“Anyone who thought the prospect of a deadline would clarify British minds on Brexit is turning out to be sorely mistaken. With a month left before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the political chaos is deepening.

Tory Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday unveiled her latest “last-ditch” effort—there have been several—to get her withdrawal agreement over the finish line in Parliament. Lawmakers will get a second vote on her deal with Brussels on March 12, after MPs resoundingly rejected the deal the first time they were asked in January.

If they reject her plan again, they’ll vote on whether to proceed with a no-deal Brexit come March 29. If that fails, they’ll vote on extending negotiations with Brussels by another few months, delaying Brexit until June or later. The pound rallied on investors’ belief that this makes a no-deal Brexit less likely.

If you’re confused, so is everybody else. What would happen if lawmakers reject all three options is a mystery. So is the purpose of an extension of negotiations with the EU if MPs reject Mrs. May’s current bargain, given that the rest of the EU is unlikely to budge substantively on the sticking points. The rest of the EU may not even allow a delay if leaders conclude that Mrs. May will never be able to rally British support behind any deal.”

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