After the Government Brexit meaningful vote, our EU and UK experts explain what this means and what might happen next

After the Government Brexit meaningful vote, our EU and UK experts explain what this means and what might happen next

Yesterday the UK parliament decisively chose not to support the Government's Brexit meaningful vote, with the largest vote against a sitting government in modern history, losing 432 to 202, including 118 Tory rebels and 3 Labour MPs voting with the Government. This was an unprecedented defeat, with a huge majority of 230 voting against the deal Theresa May's Government agreed with the EU27. 

MPs who voted against the deal include of course those who support a People's Vote, as well as those who support a No Deal. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence against the UK Government which will be voted on today: he is not expected to win this vote. Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon Leader of the SNP has come to Westminster today to seek assurances that Scotland's Remain majority population are included in the next steps. 

So where does all this Brexit chaos this leave us and what does this mean? 

Fashion Roundtable's experts explain the UK and the EU positions.

UK side:

Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence today which she is very likely to win, given that her own party and the DUP are voting in her favour. From Thursday onwards she is speaking to senior parliamentarians, who they are exactly, is anyone’s guess. But unlikely to be Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition. 

What this means for her political career is that as in the past, she unlikely to resign but it is important to note that this defeat is unprecedented in political history. No prime minister has ever faced such a huge defeat like this since Ramsay Macdonald's defeat by 166 votes, which was set almost 100 years ago on October 8 1924 when the Ramsay MacDonald's minority Labour government of defeated by 364 to 198.

She will head back to Brussels and try and scrape some concessions on the deal, this is likely to be in minor in detail. Major changes to the backstop are unlikely. Once she comes back and presents to parliament we wait and find out whether it is rejected again.

On the Labour front, Corbyn is under pressure to back a second referendum. There is speculation that a 100 or so Labour MPs  are writing a letter to Corbyn asking him to back a second referendum. This no confidence vote puts more pressure on him than May.

EU side: 


The European Commission is waiting for a result, there are no more negotiating rounds planned, in fact the negotiating team has gone back to their usual, non-Brexit related tasks. While there have been reports that the EU would be willing to extend the Article 50 deadline beyond March 29, it is only possible if there is a request for such a step and additionally, a well rounded reason for the extension. The EU is waiting for the UK to identify a future path they want to follow. In the absence of such a plan or strategy, the Commission will not be extending the deadline. 

The idea that there could be a change to the withdrawal plan perhaps in the last couple of days is unlikely, as the European Council has decided to approve and sign the agreement and forwarded this decision to the European Parliament for approval. The next step, if the European Parliament approves the Council`s decision, is the actual signature following which the agreement will be sent to member state parliaments for adoption. This brings pressure to the UK side to sign this or face no-deal. This may just go down to the last days. 

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