Theresa May’s Brexit plan is dead. It is not resting. It is not pining for the fjords. It is dead.
May may not think so. But it is. So, what happens next?
There are maybe five plausible scenarios for the Brexit deal/outcome.
- No Deal
- Canada ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
- May Deal
Remain makes up around 25% of the House of Commons and is only likely to grow if the choice is between that and No Deal. It is currently unclear if the UK can unilaterally revoke A50, I imagine the EU being what it is, they’ll make the law up as they go along and say that of course you can unilaterally revoke A50 but it also removes various UK exemptions from EU policy and the rebate.
No deal probably makes up around 5% of the House of Commons but bleeds into Canada +++++ or whatever it’s called which is probably 15% of the House. No Dealers would be happy with Canada and Canada people could probably live with No Deal.
EEA is currently backed by relatively few but could be backed by a broad swathe of the House if it were put forward as an option.
May’s deal is currently backed by maybe 30% of the House when you take account of the people who just want it done and the payroll vote.
There is almost certain to be a leadership challenge. If May falls then the May deal is either replaced with something else or moves to one of the other four.
If May doesn’t fall, she is safe for a year, she can then use her position to make the deal more Remainy to make it more palatable to Labour, but does this just lose her votes across the aisle in the Tory party? Does it just destroy the Tory party?
I think May survives a leadership challenge. She needs 158 votes of confidence. I reckon there’s a big enough “eugh, just get on with it you tossers” contingent to back her. I then reckon her deal fails to get past the House. Which means we’ve wasted a month in having it rejected by the House, and we’re back to four options. She could resign then, but she’s likely to want to press on. She has to either move on immigration, which opens up the path to Remain (still very unlikely) or EEA. But because she’s an immigration obsessive this is doubtful. She could move on Northern Ireland and go for Canada but this requires abandoning any sense of being a unionist party and would break the party just as much as Remain. So No Deal then becomes the default.
I hope May is ditched. I hope we go for the EEA option. But I think we’re far more likely to end up with a variant on No Deal.