When the British people voted to leave the European Union in 2016, it’s unlikely that they could have foreseen the political Kabuki dance that would come to surround it.
With Members of Parliament (MPs) set to vote on May’s Chequers Plan, or “soft” Brexit as it is sometimes called, this coming Tuesday, the political vultures are already circling in anticipation of what could happen if the vote, as expected, does not go May’s way.
As debate on May’s plan went on this past week, Parliament took a couple of steps to ensure that if May’s plan didn’t pass, a “no-deal” Brexit, with the UK simply leaving the EU without a deal, would become more difficult.
On Tuesday, Parliament voted 303-296 in favor of an amendment to a current finance bill which would limit certain government taxation powers in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Twenty members of May’s own Tory Party crossed lines to vote for the measure, which called for Parliament to approve any no-deal Brexit before the government could get those taxation powers.
Then on Wednesday, Parliament voted 308-297 in favor of another amendment, which would give the prime minister just three days in order to come up with an alternative should her current deal not pass. Previously, May had been given three weeks to present a Plan B, but many in Parliament feared that was too much time and that May might use the three weeks to “run out the clock” on the way to an inevitable no-deal Brexit.
But May might be lucky to even get those three days, as it is reported that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to call for a vote of no confidence in May should her deal fail to pass Parliament. Labour leaders concede that the no-confidence vote is likely to fail but they hope that, even if they fail, the vote could show how fragile May’s grip on power is and could lead to new elections. That no-confidence vote could happen as early as Tuesday night.
Should Corbyn’s anticipated no-confidence vote fail, many suspect he will throw in his lot with those calling for a second referendum on Brexit. Among those calling for a “do-over” Brexit vote is London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He told the BBC back in September, "My point is this. Rather than havng a bad deal or no deal, let's put that to the British public with the option of staying in the EU."
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has also called for a new referendum. “What seemed a few months ago unlikely is now, I would say, above a 50% likelihood. We will go back to the people. Ultimately, this could even make sense to the PM, who could perfectly, legitimately say, ‘I did my best, my deal was rejected by Parliament, and you the people must give direction that Parliament cannot.”
The votes in Parliament this past week might be proof that there isn’t majority support in Parliament for a no-deal Brexit. There is also, apparently, no majority support for May’s deal. And as of now, there doesn’t seem to be majority support in Parliament for a second referendum. But as the March 29 “leave” deadline approaches, that may change.
With Parliament hopelessly deadlocked and paralyzed by the fear of making an incorrect decision, MPs might take the cowardly way out and put the issue back to the British people.
Mutaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group, a consultancy that studies political risks for European and Asian investors, believes that a second referendum is where the future of Brexit is ultimately headed. “I do think Parliament is ultimately moving to a second referendum," he stated, adding, I think the process to get there is going to be painful. There will be multiple mini crises, leadership contests. But I think ultimately, I think that’s where this is going.”
Another possible scenario is that the UK may seek an extension to their deadline to leave under Article 50 of the EU Treaty. But that is simply moving the circus down the road a bit and could cause other complications.
An extension might also cause an awkward situation should the delay be longer than two months. In late May, EU countries are set to elect new members of the EU Parliament (MEPs). If Brexit is delayed, Great Britain might be placed in the odd position of electing new MEPs even though they have no intention of remaining in the EU.
And should any delay in Brexit last beyond July 2, the new EU Parliament would have to ratify any new leave agreement.
These calls for a new referendum have been stoked by globalist propaganda predicting economic chaos in a no-deal Brexit. Everything from market collapses to food and medication shortages to citizens being trapped in other countries have been predicted by pundits and fear peddlers in the media and it’s having an effect on a nervous British populace.
But as former Cabinet Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned shortly after May revealed her Chequers Plan in July, recently said, a second referendum would incite “instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal” in the British people.
Time to get it done, Great Britain. The people have already voted to leave the EU. So, leave it already. Should May’s deal fail to pass as expected, a no-deal exit is the best option to keep faith with UK citizens.