Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been defeated — again.
The UK Parliament voted Tuesday, 242 to 391, against the British prime minister’s proposed agreement, rejecting it with less than three weeks to go before the Brexit deadline of March 29, 2019.
The outcome wasn’t totally shocking, as May basically put forward the same deal that members of Parliament (MPs) rejected in January. She was unable to win major concessions from the European Union on the agreement, specifically when it came to the “Irish backstop,” a guarantee that a “hard” border won’t be put in place between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when the EU and UK break up. The EU did offer some last-minute legal assurances that the backstop would be temporary, but this did not really alter the terms of the backstop and the Brexit agreement.
May’s loss is not as dramatic as the previous vote in January, when Parliament rejected her Brexit deal by 230 votes — the worst defeat for the British government in modern history. But it’s still humiliating, and almost guarantees that May won’t make a third attempt to get this deal passed before March 29. And it leaves the UK without a clear path forward.
This is also just the beginning of what could be a wild week in Westminster. May promised two additional votes on Brexit if Parliament once again voted down the agreement. The first of these is set for Wednesday, when MPs will vote on whether to leave the EU on March 29 without a deal — basically a self-inflicted “no-deal Brexit” that means the UK would crash out of the bloc without any transition period, to potentially chaotic consequences.
If they decide that they don’t want to leave the EU without a deal — which seems likely — MPs are expected to vote Thursday on whether to seek a short-term extension to the deadline. This would effectively postpone the divorce, likely for two or three months. But all EU member states would have to unanimously agree to move the deadline — and it might come with conditions.
An extension also does not solve the question that is still tearing the UK apart: How the heck will the UK break up with the EU?
May’s plan is dead, for now. Parliament has to decide whether to move forward without a deal, or ask for a delay.
May’s plan looked headed for defeat even before members of Parliament voted Tuesday. She failed to win major concessions — such as time limits — from the EU on the contentious issue of the Irish backstop.
The Irish backstop ensures there will be no physical checkpoints or controls on the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK and soon to be an ex-EU member) and the Republic of Ireland, an independent country that’s also an EU member state. That open border is critical to protecting a 20-year peace process in Northern Ireland.
But here’s why the backstop is a sore point: If the UK and EU can’t figure out their future relationship after Brexit, the UK will have to follow the bloc’s customs rules, and Northern Ireland will have to adhere to EU regulations even more closely. Opponents of the backstop see this as “trapping” the UK in a relationship with the European bloc indefinitely.
EU leaders did give May some extra legal assurances on Tuesday — basically add-ons to the Brexit deal — to help guarantee the temporary nature of the backstop, and to make clear that the backstop wouldn’t be the default option for the EU-UK’s permanent future relationship. The UK also included a unilateral statement that said it could seek to get out of the backstop if the EU operated in bad faith. This seemed mostly a concession May gave to herself, but the EU didn’t object to the UK’s unilateral statement.
These addendums to the deal would empower the UK to seek recourse from independent arbiters if it felt the EU wasn’t negotiating in good faith as they tried to define their future relationship and protect the Irish border.
But as soon as May tried to sell these additions as major “legal changes,” the UK’s attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, quickly spoiled the celebration. His legal advice, published before the vote on Tuesday, said that the core of the backstop remained “unchanged.” The new assurances lessened the risk that the UK would be stuck in the backstop indefinitely, he concluded, but since the actual Brexit deal didn’t change, the UK remained bound by its original terms.
This legal advice dashed any chance May had of winning support from hardline Brexiteers — those who want a decisive split with the EU — in her Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party, the conservative party from Northern Ireland that keeps May’s government in power. The majority of the opposition Labour Party, never eager to give May a victory, joined them to kill the deal.
MPs are also gambling that other votes later this week — one on a no-deal Brexit, and another on an extension — might offer a better opportunity for MPs who find fault with May’s deal to try to push a different plan through.
On Wednesday, Parliament will vote on whether it wants to leave the EU without a deal on March 29. The deeply divided government can’t agree on much, but MPs have agreed in the past that they want to leave the EU with a deal in place, so the no-deal exit seems likely to get defeated.
If the no-deal measure is rejected, then, on Thursday, Parliament will vote on whether to seek a limited extension to Article 50, the provision of the EU treaty under which the UK is withdrawing from the bloc. May has indicated that this would be a short-term extension, which would simply postpone Brexit for a few months. There is also a chance that May may just go ahead an ask for an extension herself, without a full vote in Parliament, according to recent reports.
But any extension, of any length, will require approval from the EU member states.
“If the UK asks for an extension, it will be a short extension; everything suggests that,” Michael Leigh, a fellow at the German Marshall Fund and former EU commissioner, told me last week.
That’s likely to mean two months. European parliamentary elections are taking place at the end of May, and the EU has signaled that if the UK plans to leave the EU, it must do so before those votes, between May 23 and 26. Otherwise, the UK will be legally bound to participate and put up candidates in those elections.
But even a short-term delay may force the EU to ask the UK: What’s this extension good for?
EU leaders had previously been reluctant to grant the UK an extension unless a legitimate reason existed — something that could fundamentally change the Brexit outcome, such as another referendum vote on whether to remain in the EU or new general elections.
Moving the deadline so the UK could continue arguing didn’t seem likely before, but the EU also wants to avoid the chaos of a no-deal scenario, which would still be bad for the EU (if much worse for the UK). The EU likely doesn’t want to take the blame for that fallout, especially if it’s within its power to avoid, by just pushing back the deadline. Still, all 27 EU member states would have to unanimously approve the extension.
The EU would likely make a final decision at the European Council summit starting March 21, just eight days before the Brexit deadline.
An extension wouldn’t eliminate a no-deal scenario, just postpone the possibility. And if May does get two more months, she will almost certainly have to pursue a new Brexit strategy.
Up until this point, the prime minister has tried to maintain Conservative Party unity while also delivering on Brexit. She is trying to avoid a catastrophic no-deal Brexit that the Brexiteers are willing to risk, but she also won’t entertain the proposals embraced by the Remainers in her party, specifically a second referendum.
Something is going to have to give. What that is, well, is anyone’s guess.
Some reports have suggested May might cut her own deal with hardline Brexiteers. She could potentially promise that if they vote for the withdrawal agreement on a possible third go-around, she’ll step down as prime minister and allow someone else within the party to negotiate the future EU-UK relationship. (This is complicated by the EU’s stance on Tuesday that there would be no third chances.)
Or she might finally accept that she’ll never woo the Brexiteers, and move instead to build a cross-party coalition with the opposition Labour Party to get a Brexit plan passed. That will almost certainly mean a softer Brexit — one in which the UK promises up front to keep following some EU rules, such as staying in a permanent customs union. That’s a position Labour largely supports, though it would require May to abandon some of her Brexit “red lines.”
That scenario is still a few steps away. As it stands now, the only Brexit plan on offer is still something the UK Parliament refuses to accept. Parliament can change course this week — but a delay won’t break the current Brexit impasse.
16 Striking Photos That Can Touch Your Heart
Photos keep our memories safe and every time we look at them we can immerse ourselves in the moments that have been captured in them. They can also help us to understand what’s really important in this world. And it doesn’t matter whether these photos are from your personal album or belong to somebody else. Their messages, feelings, and emotions can be perceived in one glance.
Here at Bright Side, we believe that the following photos will really touch your heart.
This couple has battled leukemia for 15 years since they were children. Now they’re husband and wife.
This fireman gave a cat that got hurt in a fire mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and saved it.
“My dad, who has dementia, trying to remember my name”
His owner passed away but the dog continues to sit near his bed and wait.
This is what depression looks like over 24 hours.
Have you ever seen a blind dog enjoying the sounds of a lake?
An Iranian girl cheers for her favorite football team from behind the fence since Iranian women aren’t allowed into stadiums.
“My mom painted dementia.”
When all you have is memories:
The 3 social classes in The Philippines in one photo
“My buddy, a glass blowing artist, used my dad’s ashes to make a keepsake marble I can take with me anywhere.”
“She gave me the best 11 years of her life and I can only hope that I was able to do the same thing for her.”
“A year ago, my little sister left this world. This weekend her heart recipient met my mom and shared her heart beat.”
“The moment your dog comes out of the fire you thought he died in”
“3 months ago we were told our newborn was blind. 2 weeks ago we found out the doctors were wrong. Today, she got her glasses.”
“I’m just so proud of you!”
Today my daughter graduated from pre-K. After the ceremony, my son walked up to her and gave her a hug. “I’m just so proud of you,” he said. Then, of course, my daughter started crying. As we wiped away our tears, my husband asked her, “Pumpkin, why are you crying?” She responded, “I’m just so happy.”
Each photo has its own story. Which of them touched you the most?
Komünist Başkan, Aldığı Kararla Sosyal Medyada Trend Topic Oldu
Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu’nun belediye başkanı olduğu Tunceli Belediyesi Meclisi, ‘Tunceli’ yazan belediye tabelasının ‘Dersim’ olarak değiştirilmesine karar verdi. Bu karar sonrası Maçoğlu, sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.
Tunceli Belediye Başkanı TKP’li Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu başkanlığında belediye meclis üyeleri toplantısında alınan kararla Tunceli Belediyesi tabelasının ‘Dersim Belediyesi’ olarak değiştirilmesi kararı alındı. Karar tartışma yaratırken ‘DersimdeğilTunceli’ etiketi sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.
BELEDİYEDEN AÇIKLAMA YAPILDI
Belediyeden yapılan açıklamada Dersim ibaresiyle birlikte Zazaca ve Türkçe beleriye hizmetleri verileceği duyuruldu. Açıklamada şöyle denildi: “Kentimizin kültürü, tarihi ve inanç biçimini yaşatmak adına belediyemiz hizmet binasında bulunan tabelada yazılı ‘Tunceli’ ibaresinin değiştirilerek yerine ‘Dersim’ ibaresinin yazılması oy çokluğuyla kabul edildi. Haber
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15 Random People Who Look So Much Like Celebrities, You May Want to Take a Photo With Them
It’s not an easy goal to meet a real celebrity in our everyday life. Sometimes they are too busy with their activities or simply prefer to avoid public places. But when you see one right in front of you, don’t be too quick to jump over the moon and ask for a photo. Try to check their IDs first, because we are ready to show you that there are too many ordinary people who look just like stars and who probably wouldn’t miss a chance to pose and giggle afterward.
We at Bright Side compared photos of celebrities to their clones to demonstrate that this isn’t a joke. IDs first, photos after.
15. Kylie Jenner and Kristen Hancher, but which is which?
14. “My dad actually does Jack Nicholson lookalike work in Hollywood as a hobby.”
13. Breaking news! It seems Kim Kardashian has cloned herself.
12. “This fella lives in my house. I think James Franco and he follow each other on Instagram.”
11. “My sister always gets asked if she’s Julia Stiles.”
10. Nope, those aren’t just 2 pictures of Steve Buscemi!
9. Here’s chance for those who are upset that Michael Fassbender is married.
8. We’re just interested to see if Meghan Trainor’s double has the same talents.
7. We know this is pretty unexpected for Taylor Lautner, but we can’t unsee it.
6. This girl claims that she gets compared to Katy Perry daily.
5. When Chuck Norris is on vacation.
4. “Never mind, I’ll find someone like Adele.”
3. If Cobie Smulders doesn’t want to shoot How I Met Your Mother 10, there’s a perfect replacement out there.
2. Wait, so you’re saying that isn’t Zooey Deschanel on the right?
1. Even Zach Galifianakis and Jonah Hill can see this resemblance.
Do you have any friends who look exactly like movie stars? Show us their photos!
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