May’s Brexit deal faces crushing defeat …. What’s next?

The process of United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union took a hit this month as the Brexit agreement—terms of divorce negotiated by the two sides—failed to get enough votes in the British Parliament’s House of Commons. The gravity of the poll defeat—the margin of loss was 230 votes—was compounded by the undesirable distinction of being the biggest defeat of its kind in the past 95 years. As though this wasn’t enough, soon a vote of no confidence, to topple UK Prime Minister Theresa May, was called by the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. However, after a narrow win, May retained her position and kept the Conservative Party in power.

Still, the lingering uncertainty over the future of UK, post Brexit, is a major concern among Britons. A complicated break-up (called ‘hard exit’) with EU carries various negative implications. Already, the country has seen its growth-rate steadily decline since the referendum to leave the EU was passed back in 2016, and if the parliament doesn’t agree on a deal by 29 March 2019 (Brexit Day), things could go from bad to worse. In the scenario where a Brexit deal is not passed, a ‘no-deal’ situation would follow as the country hard-exits the EU without any ‘transition period’, giving the public no time to adapt to the new set-up.

After the original Brexit deal was widely rejected, the British PM has now come up with a ‘Plan B’ in hopes of bringing the opposing Parliament members on her side. However, the only thing that sets the new deal apart from its predecessor are a few relatively minor changes. And, understandably, there is little expectation that it will induce a drastic change of heart amongst the MPs who voted against the PM’s deal last time.

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