My goodness, Brexit has become exciting. I rarely watch the news anymore, but I could watch the House of Parliament talk about Brexit for hours and hours.
Today was no exception, as Parliament rejected a second round of “indicative votes” on four separate proposals, including having the UK remain part of a customs union a la Norway.
Brief Summary of Brexit Action
For those of you keeping score, that means:
- Parliament has voted against Theresa May’s deal 3 times now
- Parliament voted against four alternatives last week
- Parliament voted against four alternatives again today
- Theresa May went all-in, pledging to resign to get her deal through, and it still didn’t – but her government still seems to think it is possible
- Unless a deal passes that the Parliament and the EU (who must approve any further extension) can live with, Britain is set to exit the European Union on April 12 – less than two weeks from now
Allow me to reiterate that last point: unless something can achieve a majority in Parliament before April 12, and the European Union sees that something as meaningful enough to delay Brexit further, Britain will exit the EU on April 12.
Originally, the delay deal that Theresa May worked out with the EU to prevent no-deal “hard Brexit” on the original March 29 date was that her deal, and her deal alone, had to be approved by Parliament in order for Brexit to be delayed until May 22. That has not happened, and now the UK is hurtling towards an April 12 deadline.
One of the more insane outcomes of the Brexit process is that the Scottish National Party, which controls a majority of the Scottish Parliament, is pivoting around Brexit to push for a second Scottish independence referendum.
You may recall that in 2014, the SNP successfully engineered a Scottish Independence Referendum that was handily defeated by over 10 points.
Repeatedly, however, the SNP has promised yet another referendum on independence. It’s even on their official party website. It also was mentioned in the debate after the votes were announced in Parliament tonight.
My strong suspicion is that, if a no-deal Brexit occurs on April 12, the SNP will begin loudly calling for a second referendum on April 13.
Tory Whip Resigns
No drama is complete without the moment of complete and utter devastation faced by a cast member, and in this case, that falls to MP Nick Boles, who happens to be the Tory whip.
Boles gave an emotional statement in which he stated that he had failed and the party had failed to find a compromise, and he was resigning from the party.
That said, this was some time coming: he has been facing a lot of heat from his local Conservative Party members for his “compromise” stance on Brexit.
There truly isn’t a clear way forward. What’s going to happen? No one knows – and if they say they do, they’re lying.
The only certainty at this point is that if the House of Commons keeps deadlocking, there will be a no-deal Brexit. Few would say that’s the ideal situation, but it’s certainly better than continued membership in the European Union.
And at this point, no-deal Brexit seems to be the only plausible outcome.