When Does the Curtain Fall on Theresa May?

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is under intense pressure to resign. Although it is probably too late, May is apparently now “listening to colleagues” about her Brexit withdrawal bill. She has halted plans to publish the legislation on Friday and will revise the bill again before it is published and debated before a vote in early June. However, it is unclear if that vote will even take place with Tory opposition deepening. On Tuesday, Brexit supporters were infuriated when May outlined a revised Brexit deal that would allow MPs to vote on whether to hold a second EU referendum. That point has triggered a near-revolt in her cabinet which is threatening to escalate.

To complicate matters even more, European Parliamentary voting has started today in the United Kingdom. The election is anticipated to bring a major victory for Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party. The chaos surrounding May’s withdrawal deal this week has been a gift for Farage. If his party wins big in the EU elections it could be disastrous for the Conservatives, and end up bringing about May’s resignation despite her efforts to preserve her position. If the EU parliamentary election results are as bad for Conservatives as feared, May could be forced to resign as the party leader by Monday at the latest.

Regardless of how the next few days play out, Theresa May’s time at 10 Downing Street is evidently coming to an end.

Brexit Vote Update: May’s Deal is Defeated Again

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Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal deal with the European Union has been soundly defeated again. MPs rejected it for the second time today by 391-242. This was a smaller defeat than the first vote in January, but the margin is meaningless at this point. May’s Brexit strategy now lay in tatters, and Britain’s exit from the EU, scheduled to take place at the end of the month, appears likely to be a chaotic endeavor.

The next step will be a vote on whether Britain should leave without a deal, or if Brexit should be postponed. This upcoming vote might very well prove to be more critical than the one today. The concerns, and fears that a potential no-deal exit scenario are now being countered by equally passionate feelings of anxiety and suspicions that an Article 50 extension will eventually lead to a possible second referendum. Brexiteers are dead set against allowing another national referendum to take place. In the view of many Brexit supporters Britons have made their choice clear and it is up to the government to turn the wishes of the people into a reality.

At the center of the bedlam in London is the Prime Minister. Despite her best efforts, her government has suffered a second defeat. May’s power, and authority have been diminished and another no-confidence vote remains possible. Her political future remains very uncertain.

International leaders have started reacting to the vote results. Not surprisingly, European leaders are publicly quite disappointed at how the vote has played out. Now the leaders of EU member-states are beginning to circle the wagons, so to speak, in an effort to minimize the blowback that will arise from a no-deal British departure. As far as the EU is concerned, Brussels has done everything possible to bring about a solution acceptable to both sides and Britain has turned in down.

Perhaps it was Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s words which best describe the sentiment on the continent at the moment:  “We regret the decision of the British Parliament despite the EU’s efforts to achieve the best possible agreement. The European project must move forward to ensure freedom, stability and prosperity. We need pro-European governments. Let’s protect Europe so that Europe will protect us.”

Brexit Vote Update #2: May Secures Changes to Withdrawal Deal

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It would appear Theresa May has managed to secure new assurances from the European Union. Officially, May and the EU have agreed upon “legally binding changes” to the withdrawal agreement. The changes will not affect the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal. It will instead serve as legal assurances preventing the UK from being trapped indefinitely in a customs union.

Now comes the hard part. Between now and tomorrow morning May has to determine if the latest changes will be enough to push her agreement through a very skeptical Parliament on Tuesday. Her main target will be the 100 or so Tory MPs who voted down her seal last month. If she can sway a majority of these votes in her favor, the agreement has at least a fair chance of passing.

The date for the UK leaving the EU is 29 March. If necessary, Brussels has indicated that a one-time extension can be applied. This route is not one which the EU wants to see become reality because it could very well interfere with the EU Parliament elections set to take place in late May. If the UK is still an EU member when that date arrives there are significant legal obstacles that need to be hurdled beforehand.

Come tomorrow the fate of the agreement, and perhaps of Brexit entirely, will be in the hands of the MPs in London.

Brexit Vote Update: May and Junckers Meet in Strasbourg

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived in Strasbourg to conduct eleventh-hour talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The PM is hoping the discussion will produce a resolution which leads to enough support for her Brexit withdrawal deal to pass through parliament. The second vote on the deal will come tomorrow. There has been speculation today that the vote could be postponed, or its status altered to ‘provisional.’ A final decision on this will be dependent upon the end result of the Strasbourg talks.

According to the BBC, EU member states have been given details about a package that May and Juncker are considering. British cabinet officials have also been made aware of this and are being kept up to date on the discussions now taking place in Strasbourg.

Brexit’s Day of Decision Looms

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The fate of Brexit Withdrawal Agreement crafted by Theresa May and her European Union counterparts will be decided when the House of Commons votes on it Tuesday. The end result of tomorrow’s vote is not expected to favor May and the government. Opposition to the deal has not softened since May called off the vote last month. She could postpone the vote again if she wishes too, however, such a move would not help her cause at this point. She has staked the future of the government, as well as her own political future, on Tuesday’s outcome. If it goes in her favor, May will enjoy a major victory and walk away with a large amount of political capital in her pocket. Should the more likely opposite result come about, May will have to take her medicine, so to speak, and accept the results of the vote, and the consequences it brings about.

Those possible consequences are what have many Britons on edge at the moment. May’s government could collapse. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to file a no-confidence motion after the vote is held. This move could potentially bring about a new general election, though the chances of it going so far are small. Other potential scenarios include a new Brexit referendum, a disorderly UK withdrawal from the EU, or a complete scrapping of the Brexit process. May can also try for another vote in the future, although this step should be avoided entirely as it would drop the British political system, and economy into a extended period of uncertainty that neither can afford to weather.

The Brexit crisis in Britain at the moment represents a point where contemporary global political trends have clashed. Populism, protectionism, and nationalism squaring off against globalism and pluralism in a contest that has created a stalemate closely resembling the Western Front in World War I. Whatever comes about following tomorrow’s vote will have a lasting impact on the United Kingdom, and the European Union. This much is certain.