The UK Parliaments once again expressed what they don’t want about Brexit, without saying what they want. With April 12 cliff-edge looming, there is still no sign of a breakthrough.
All eight Brexit alternatives were defeated in the UK House of Commons on Wednesday. That means no majority emerged support any options including no deal, a referendum, a customs union and a Norway-style deal. The closet results was for a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU”, which was voted down by 264 to 272. The call for confirmatory referendum was voted down by 268 to 295.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May offered to resign if her Brexit deal gets approved by the parliament in a third meaningful vote. She told the Conservative 1922 Committee that “I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and I won’t stand in the way of that.” She added “I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”
With May’s offer, more hard-line Brexiteers turned to support her deal. A key consideration is that the change in leadership for the most important of next phase in negotiations. Trade negotiations and futures relationship will be on the line, which Brexiteers would be eager to get a firmer control on. However, it remains uncertain how May could get enough votes as Northern Ireland’s DUP repeated its objection to the deal.