It could be argued that no progress is progress in itself, considering the fact that should nothing happen regarding Brexit, the UK will leave the EU in March. But it seems highly unlikely that nothing will be done given the run-up so far.

No-confidence vote

Last night, Theresa may survived a vote of no confidence that was called straight after a crushing defeat in the House of Commons on her Brexit deal. MPs voted in support of May by 325 votes to 306, meaning she will remain as PM and continue to lead us towards the departure from the EU.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had called the vote in response to the rejection of May’s deal, in an attempt to force a General Election. Despite garnering very little support on her deal, with many Conservative Rebels voting against it, things were different last night. A lot of those Tories who voted against the deal did so in hope of forcing a second referendum, extending Article 50 to allow more time to renegotiate a better deal or simply because they felt it was not the best outcome for the UK. They were not all votes against May and her leadership abilities in particular.

So all 314 Tories voted in favour of their leader, while predictably, all 251 Labour members voted against May’s leadership. The DUP also pledged their allegiance to the Conservatives, with all ten MPs voting in favour of May.

Were May to have lost the vote, Brexit may have taken a temporary backseat while Parliament established a new government. So of course, progress wouldn’t have been seen in the short term. However, even with May still in power, little is known about what’s going to happen between now and March 29.

Brexit possibilities

There are many possible paths that lead from here, but four options in particular seem the most likely.

Brexit options 17.01


No deal

If there’s one thing that most people agree on, Remainers, Brexiteers, Conservatives and Labour alike, it’s that Brexit without a deal is not going to be the best outcome for the UK.

 It would likely hinder trade as certain freedoms in terms of import and export taxes won’t be waived. Already, a number of large firms have shut down bases in the UK for fear (or perhaps anticipation) of Brexit’s implications. Freedom of travel will almost certainly be affected, with stronger border limitations likely to be implemented.    

Despite its negatives, a no-deal Brexit is looking like the most likely outcome at the moment, with neither side being able to agree on the best way forward.

General Election

In initiating a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn was looking to de-seat her from her position in Parliament by sparking a General Election. The opportunity has not entirely gone for the Labour leader, but May’s victory yesterday did ensure that he would have to wait, for now, to be in charge of the country and also the progression of Brexit.

Corbyn could later benefit from an early General Election, should May call one herself. The PM may look to consolidate her position, and suggest to Parliament that one is held. In this instance, a vote will take place in the Commons, where two-thirds of MPs would need to be in favour of an election. It’s unlikely May will do this herself, but it could be a potential method to breaking the deadlock and maybe even getting her deal passed through Parliament.

Second Referendum

Another referendum may be held, giving the public a second chance to determine whether or not they want to leave the EU. This is widely referred to the people’s vote, as it seems based on polls that the British public are now in favour of remaining in the EU. Opinions may have changed as people are beginning to realise the exact consequences of leaving, and how it will affect certain UK industries.

Renegotiate with the EU

Despite the EU stating that negotiations are now over and no more will take place regarding the deal, it would be in their best interest to renegotiate. The UK is a vital member of the EU in terms of the amount of money that’s contributed directly (£9 billion net in 2017 alone), and the power it adds to the European Single Market. Losing the UK as a member is a blow in itself, but a deal on a positive relationship in the future (and effectively a soft Brexit) would certainly soften that blow.

Were a deal to be renegotiated, one that adheres to more wishes of MPs who initially voted against it, then the chances of it getting through Parliament in a second vote would significantly increase.