That offer could change minds on May's Brexit deal, but two Brexit alternatives that emerged Wednesday look even more popular.
UNITED NATIONS – British Prime Minister Theresa May offered to resign Wednesday if members of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons voted to back her Brexit deal, a fig leaf that could unstick a Brexit process mired in disagreement.
May’s offer has already prompted a handful of lawmakers who voted against her Brexit deal on two previous occasions to join her side, though she’ll likely need many more to do so before she calls for a vote – a move that could come as early as Friday.
In the meantime, Parliament conducted its own Brexit exercise on Wednesday, considering and ultimately rejecting eight diverse Brexit alternatives that ran the gamut from a no-deal Brexit to a deal that would keep Britain part of the E.U. common market and subject to E.U. rules.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said those votes meant only one thing.
“The results of the process this House has gone through today strengthens our view that the deal the government has negotiated is the best option.”
Not everyone agreed, including Labour MP Margaret Beckett, who said Barclay was presenting a false choice:
“I have to say to the Secretary of State I thought it was somewhat extraordinary for him to come to the Dispatch Box and say this proves that the only thing to do is to go ahead with the Prime Minister’s motion, which got less votes than many of those that have been before us tonight.”
She had a point.
Two proposals considered on Wednesday – for Britain to join a post-Brexit customs union with the E.U and another to hold a second Brexit referendum – received more support than May’s deal when it went up for a vote just two weeks ago.
The next steps for the British parliament are clear, though the outcome is anyone’s guess.
May hopes to present her deal for a third vote by week’s end, and if it fails again, the most popular Brexit alternatives identified Wednesday could be tested in new votes on Monday.
If MP’s keep on voting, surely they’re bound to agree on something at some point, right?