May fights to survive another day as PM, but what is going to happen?

17.12.2018 kl. 17:14
The parliament was supposed to vote on the deal on 11 December. Mrs May realised that the governments deal was unlikely to pass in the parliament and because of that she withdrew the bill from the parliament and pushed the vote until an uncertain time. Currently there is no sign of the vote happening before Christmas. Downing Street has not informed when the vote will take place, but the government has promised that it will happen before the 21 January.

The day after the vote in the House of Commons was supposed to happened, enough MPs from the Tories submitted letters for a no-confidence vote in Theresa May as party leader. May survived the vote with 200-117 votes, but it’s clear that May is in a difficult position. There is a civil war within the conservative party which means that the government does not have enough votes to pass a deal through the parliament.

The main problem at this point is the Irish boarder and the backstop. The backstop aims to prevent the establishment of a hard border on the island after Brexit. This entails that some regulations relating to N. Ireland remain aligned with the rest of the EU. When the Brexit transition period ends in December 2020, the EU and UK have agreed upon a backstop until a subsequent agreement is in place. This means that it would create a single EU-UK customs territory avoiding the need for tariffs, quotas or checks of origin between the EU and the UK. It ensures no hard border, physical checks or infrastructure between N. Ireland and Ireland after Brexit.

The "People´s vote march" gathered a record number of participants.

May was trying to seek assurances on the Irish backstop from the EU but EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker said there could be clarification but no re-negotiations. This was not what May was hoping for.


What did Britain actually vote for? This question has been asked on several occasion. Today, polls indicate people who voted ‘Leave’ in 2016 would rather remain, due to the unclarity on what Brexit is, and how it has been handled by the government. Polling by YouGov demonstrated a majority of the public calling for a People’ Vote.

There are a few scenarios about what is going to happen. Time is running out and if somebody says that they know for sure what is going to happen, they are most likely lying. If there is one thing I have realised while working at the Lib Dem, it is to never underestimate what the British politicians next move will be.

The scenarios for the next chapter of Brexit:

  1. Leaving with no deal and crash out of the EU 
  2. The governments deal is accepted by the parliament
  3. The governments deal is rejected by the parliament and May has three weeks to make a second attempt
  4. Theresa May is removed as Prime Minister and a new PM tries to negotiate a new deal
  5. A people’s vote (second referendum)
  6. A general election is called
Björn Bonsdorff
Björn Bonsdorff
Verksamhetskoordinator för Liberal Praktik, ordnar seminarier och ansvarar för Bildningsförbundets internationella verksamhet.