Brexit: what's on the cards this week | Brexit: what's on the cards this week | DMA

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Brexit: what's on the cards this week


It’s probably the 8 or 9th time I’ve said this, but this probably the biggest week for Brexit since… the last one.

In what has seemed like a British political version of Groundhog Day (but without Bill Murray or the happy ending), the countdown to the final moments of Brexit seem to have reoccurred or been delayed, or come to a head a million times over.

Tomorrow, it could well be the final moment where everything is decided. MPs may bite the bullet and get behind Theresa May’s deal, which would then be set into law and the government’s vision of Brexit will come into force at 11 pm on 29 March.

BUT… this probably won’t happen. Certainly not tomorrow, at least.

Indeed, it is near-certain that Theresa May’s deal will be voted down tomorrow. Today she gives two speeches to try and convince MPs to support the deal - first in the strong Brexit-supporting area of Stoke on Trent and then in the not so strong Brexit-supporting House of Commons. She seeks to inform the public and MPs about the assurances she has received from the EU about the backstop agreement being an extremely unlikely event. Today, Number 10 and the EU have released letters, one from Theresa May to Jean Claud Junker and one from Junker to the Prime Minister. Nonetheless, even these assurances are unlikely to help the deal pass.

If it doesn't, the Government has 3 working days to bring back a vote. This would mean that, by Monday, Theresa May will have had to go back to Brussels to get those ‘assurances’ she has allegedly been gathering since she delayed the vote in December. She will lay out what assurances these are at 1530 today.

Potentially, the Labour party will lodge a vote of no confidence in the Government which, if passed, will trigger a general election. If they fail, we’re back to waiting for the 3 days for the second vote. Then we go round the vote-pass/fail-no confidence loop again.

Beyond this, the Government will have to extend Article 50 and delay the Brexit date. Some other options open up then such as a second referendum or a general election or a no-deal Brexit, but let’s get past this week and the first vote first.

If you want to catch up on all things Brexit in under 10 minutes, listen to episode 2 of the DMA Politics Podcast with Zach Thornton and Michael Sturrock from our External Affairs team.

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