UK Members of Parliament have voted on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposition. May’s Brexit deal has been rejected.
The rejection of the deal could now result in a “hard Brexit,” an exit from the EU with no formal agreement on debt, trade, and what will happen to UK citizens living in Europe. There are other likely outcomes and the UK government has just three days to decide what comes next.
The Outcome is…Well…Complicated
The 585-page withdrawal agreement and 26-page declaration on proposed future relations between the UK and EU could now be renegotiated.
Or, the government could propose a general election.
Or, May’s opposing Labour government could call for a vote of no confidence in May.
A general election could lead to an extension of “Article 50” the bill dictating the leave date for the UK, thus extending the UK’s time in the EU while the UK government is redecided and negotiations occur.
A vote of no confidence could lead to a new Prime Minister, a general election, or May could win and everything is back on the table, but still with no clear outcome.
There could also be a new referendum, but as Article 50 is in play, the UK cannot end Brexit unless the other EU member 27-member states agree. There is no time for a referendum before the UK’s exit of the EU, on March 29, 2019. So, to hold a referendum Article 50 would need to be extended.
This diagram from the UK’s BBC News illustrates the pre-vote scenario.