UK Parliament begins deliberating on leading ‘plan b’ brexit options

UK Parliament begins deliberating on leading ‘plan b’ brexit options

The British Parliament will begin debating secondary options for a Brexit withdrawal agreement today after lawmakers resoundingly defeated PM Theresa

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Photo: Reuters

The British Parliament will begin debating secondary options for a Brexit withdrawal agreement today after lawmakers resoundingly defeated PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal on January 16.

Secondary options are expected to focus on preventing a hard Brexit on March 29, with Labour backbencher Yvette Cooper leading a cross-party effort to delay the date for Brexit until the end of 2019. EU consent to an extension is likely, giving the UK a longer period to renegotiate or clarify aspects of the original deal, such as the Irish backstop. It is less certain that the EU would be willing offer any additional concessions or legal clarification.

However, this option has not yet received the support of PM May, who is publicly opposed to extending the March deadline, nor has it dealt in any meaningful way with what a withdrawal agreement will look like, which has raised further economic uncertainty. If the cross-party amendment to extend the date of Brexit gains enough support, it could buy the UK additional time to reduce economic shocks and avoid the social upheaval and divisions that would likely stem from a second referendum.

Delve deeper: 2019 Forecast: Brexit and British Politics

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