May’s Double Fault on Brexit


On 13th March 2019, the British Parliament witnessed dramatic scene(s) as Theresa May committed a ‘Double Fault’ by first losing the vote on Spelman amendment that amended the language of her motion to avoid a No Deal Brexit. The original motion which left a default choice of a No Deal Brexit was amended by Spelman amendment that mandatorily ruled out the No Deal Brexit. The embarrassment suffered by May lead the Tories into a huddle with Theresa May now issuing a three line whip asking her MPs to defeat her motion as amended. Despite the whip thirteen ministers of May’s government abstained leading to amended motion getting passed rejecting a No Deal Brexit with no default option thus leading to ‘Double Fault’ by her government. With a No Deal Brexit ruled out, Theresa May on 14th March 2019 moved another resolution to extend the deadline of Article 50 beyond the slated date of 29th March 2019. Since May had whipped her party MPs to ward off any further embarrassment like the one on the previous days. The amendment for a 2nd referendum on Brexit was resoundingly rejected by House of Commons, followed by a cliff hanger win for the Government from losing control over Brexit negotiations to the parliament. On expected lines Theresa May managed to pull off this motion to extend Article 50 deadline.

This now leads to two scenarios, May will move her Brexit deal once again next week for the 3rd time; on passage of which she will have to bring a legislation to amend the provisions of Withdrawal Act before House of Commons and ask for technical extension for 2.5 months from EU at Brussels. In alternative if the House of Commons rejects her deal once again then as specified she would have to seek a longer extension from EU for renegotiation’s. However in both cases, the 27 countries in EU would have to unanimously approve an extension which Donald Tusk the EU President has already indicated could be on table. However a long extension would mean that UK would then have to decide whether it wants to be part of EU Parliamentary polls due in May 2019. While the European Union salivates its victories over chaos in Britain as a message to other countries part of the Union contemplating similar move, the Brexit negotiations in Britain has become an unmitigated disaster. In any circumstances Brexit is now delayed beyond March 29, 2019 and the soap opera over it continues for months & probably years to come.

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