4 things that will probably happen with Brexit

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

After the calm comes the storm.

On Tuesday night, Theresa May got a surprising boost when Tory MPs rallied round her in a series of amendment votes on Brexit.

Brexiteers and Remainers called an uneasy truce to back proposals to replace the controversial  Irish backstop in the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal.

However, in the cold light of Wednesday, senior EU voices have put on a unified, co-ordinated front and told Mrs May in no uncertain terms the Irish backstop is not up for renegotiation.

At home, the truces Mrs May has struck – with hard-line Brexiteers and the DUP particularly – remain unsteady, making it incredibly difficult to predict what will happen next week, let along by March 29.

So here’s a handy guide of what we probably think will happen:

The future of Brexit remains uncertain (PA)

1. May goes back to Brussels

Mrs May is due to speak to the European Council president Donald Tusk on Wednesday evening.

And while there has been no immediate announcement of any plan for Mrs May to visit Brussels, it is expected she will visit in the near future to discuss the Withdrawal Agreement as Brexit day draws ever closer.

MEPs are due to debate Brexit after an address from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker but the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said the bloc’s position was ‘very clear’.

Mr Juncker met the European commissioners on Wednesday morning to discuss new plans for dealing with a no-deal Brexit, said a spokesman.

Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to meet the Prime Minister for Brexit discussions (PA)

Corbyn and May open talks

Mr Corbyn is to meet Mrs May on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Brexit, having boycotted earlier cross-party talks.

The Labour leader said he was ready to discuss a ‘sensible’ approach to Brexit after MPs voted on Tuesday night to rule out no-deal.

But with both leaders seemingly poles apart on how to move forward with Brexit – on issues including no deal and a customs union, it is unlikely that any consensus between the pair can be reached.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said Mr Corbyn has not backtracked by agreeing to speak with Mrs May while no-deal Brexit remains a possibility.

MPs are set to vote again on Brexit in February (PA)

MPs to vote again

A second meaningful vote on Brexit is set to take place on February 13th.

As it stands, Mrs May has commanded a fragile majority of backbenchers, who rallied round the Brady amendment on Tuesday night.

The Prime Minister, attempting to now negotiate the terms of the backstop with a stubborn EU, may have a two-week honeymoon period before facing MPs for the second vote.

If she fails in her bid to change the backstop, Tory Leavers and Remainers are likely to turn on her yet again.

Currently the Brexit deadline is the 29th March (PA)

The Brexit deadline

As it stands, Britain is set to exit the EU on March 29th but with the Commons divided on the issue, it is not yet clear whether this deadline will be missed.

However, the chances of an extension to Article 50 became less likely after MPs rejected two proposals to delay Brexit by extending the two-year negotiation process if Mrs May was unable to secure an acceptable agreement by February 26th.

Whether Britain leaves the EU without a deal or whether one is in place by the time Brexit day comes around is currently up in the air.

But the PM faces a potential split in her party – and another threat to her leadership – if she agrees to delay Brexit.

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