Brexit Update: Petition to Revoke Article 50 Gaining Ground

Getty Anit-Brexit activists, calling for a People's Vote, demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliamnet in London on March 12, 2019.

May said she profoundly regretted Tuesday’s defeat, which makes the second time UK lawmakers have shot it down. May battled a hoarse voice all day, making the overwhelming defeat all the more dramatic.

3/22/19 Update: Petition to Stay in the EU

Theresa May rejected the proposal on Tuesday, which lead to the petition gaining heavy traction. It does not show signs of slowing as more petitioners sign.

“An online petition calling on the UK government to revoke article 50 and remain in the EU has hit 3.5m signatures, adding 2.5m signees in less than 24 hours,” reports The Guardian.

“Asked last night if it showed a rising anti-Brexit mood, Theresa May said the UK had already decided to leave in the biggest ever democratic exercise,” according to the BBC.

The UK now has until April 12 to decide what to do. This comes after the EU agreed to delay a Brexit decision. Revoking Article 50 comes with strings, but it is the path by which the UK could choose to remain in the EU. The UK’s other options remain to either leave without a deal with the EU, or leave with a deal.

3/14/19 Update: Delay the Decision

Parliament votes to delay UK’s exit from the EU.

3/13/19 Update: No to No Deal

No to no deal wins with 321 Votes. 278 voted to keep no deal on the table. British MPs have voted to say the UK should not leave the EU with no deal.

Watch as MPs debated on Tuesday whether to leave EU without a deal following May’s defeat:

Before the vote, “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned if the deal was voted down there was ‘no third chance.’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister’s negotiations had ‘failed’ and the announcements did not contain ‘anything approaching the changes’ she had promised Parliament,” reports BBC.

Moving forward, the UK will reportedly have two choices, hold another referendum or cancel Article 50. A fail-fail-pass pattern will leave the UK in the position of May asking for an extension from the EU. One or more of the 27 EU member states can put conditions on that extension. Spain, for example, can give equal governing rights over Gibraltar.

“Despite May’s hoarse-voiced pleas in the House of Commons for lawmakers to support her draft exit deal on Tuesday, or run the risk of a chaotic exit from the EU or no Brexit at all, lawmakers crushed it by 391 votes to 242,” reports CNN.

MPs will now have a free vote on Wednesday on whether to leave EU without a deal.

“The attorney general said the changes the PM had secured still carried a ‘legal risk’ that the UK would have no way out of the Irish backstop without EU agreement,” reports the BBC.

Micheál Martin, leader of the Opposition in Ireland, called the defeat “a serious & a disappointing setback. My hope is that before the end of this week, British politicians will realize how high the stakes are for millions of ordinary working people and start putting the national interest ahead of Brexit politics.”

No Victory for May

Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on March 12, 2019 in London, England.

Brexit has already “cost banks and companies billions, riven British society and splintered its political landscape,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC, “The UK is teetering on the edge and the government has stopped functioning,” and “It is the prime minister’s failure to listen after the first defeat and pandering to Brexit extremists that have made tonight’s outcome inevitable.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Tweeted:

Next Moves

No Deal on Brexit

Anit-Brexit activists, calling for a People’s Vote, demonstrate outside the Houses of Parlament in London on March 12, 2019.

UK lawmakers will now be busy determining whether to walk away from the EU with no deal in place or attempt further negotiations. Had the vote passed, UK transitions out of the EU would have begun on March 29.

“I believe the conditions for an extension will be so erroneous that we will turn them down. Parliament will have already voted against us leaving with a no deal (13 March) so that will only leave canceling Article 50 or holding another referendum. There won’t be time to hold another referendum without an extension. The EU will then offer an extension to Article 50 but only for the purpose of the UK holding another referendum or canceling Article 50,” says a private UK citizen.

“The vote left the nation with no obvious way forward, just 17 days before the deadline for leaving the European Union. Parliament is sharply divided on when, how and even whether to proceed with Brexit, and whether to call an election or a second referendum,” reports the New York Times.

If permitted by Parliament, May can request further Brexit delay at the EU summit in late March. If the delay does not pass,  this will reportedly lead to a UK exit from the EU absent of a deal.

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