What Brex’t?

A no deal Brexit? It may be more likely than you think

 

It is not the first time that we witness Theresa May’s government in a state of disastrous dishevelment and panic, and it seems the only thing that we may be certain of at this point is that we will see the same parliamentary disorder next week. This begs the deeply divisive yet pertinent question: what next?

 

In the words of Mrs May, the government is now entering ‘uncharted territory,’ and yet a definitive course of events has yet to be outlined. This is not for lack of planning, however, and the government have provided solutions that range from a Canadian-style free-trade deal, a Norway-like option, or even a second referendum; it seems the options have been exhausted, but there is still no majority in Parliament for any these solutions. Meanwhile, Brexit’s deadline of the 29th of March looms and in order to manage our exit, at least nine bills must be passed before this date including ones on topics such as immigration, trade and agriculture.

 

The finance bill was voted on this week, and it has made it crystal clear that the majority of MPs are firmly against a no-deal deal, but despite this, such an outcome is surprisingly difficult to prevent. Cathy Haddon, of the Institute for Government, explains that only three things can happen to stop a no-deal exit: ‘passing an agreed Brexit deal; seeking an extension of Article 50, which needs unanimous approval from 27 of the other EU governments, some of which will be reluctant; or revoking the Article 50 letter, which can be done unilaterally up to March 29th, but would be hugely embarrassing for Mrs May.’ This makes the vote on Theresa May’s proposed deal all the more significant as if it is shot down, a no-deal Brexit will become all the more possible.

 

Priya V