Guidance

Delayed Brexit, No Brexit, New Brexit: A Departure (or Not) in Several Scenarios

Dec 19, 2018 | 20:10 GMT
A Brexit opponent displays the Union Jack and the European Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Dec. 17, 2018.

A Brexit opponent displays the Union Jack and the European Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Dec. 17. British Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to persuade the House of Commons to support the exit deal her government negotiated with the European Union. A rejection would increase the chances of a disorderly Brexit, but other courses of action are possible.

(TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

After days of speculation, the British government announced on Dec. 17 that the House of Commons will vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit agreement with the European Union during the week of Jan. 14. The vote had been set for Dec. 11, but May postponed it by a month to avoid defeat. The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on March 29. By putting off the vote for a month, May is hoping to raise the stakes and pressure on Commons to approve her deal. It's a risky strategy: May will still struggle to persuade enough members of Parliament to support her plan. A rejection by Commons in mid-January would give May's government only about 10 weeks to negotiate a new exit deal with the European Union or seek another vote in Parliament, which would significantly increase the chances of a disorderly Brexit. Several scenarios could...

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