UK MPs vote on Theresa May's amended Brexit deal

MPs to vote on no-deal Brexit as businesses sound alarm

With Brexit now just 16 days away, Parliament will vote Wednesday on whether to rule out leaving on that date without a deal.

So what could change next with Brexit?

Last month Mr Farage threw his support behind the newly-formed Brexit Party and confirmed he would be willing to run on their ticket in the event Brexit is delayed. How does Ireland factor in? When looking from a technical perspective, the path with the least resistance is towards downside as odds of no-deal Brexit scenario is high at the moment. That is the worst case scenario for the economy because no one will know how to operate in the vacuum of no distinct rules and regulations surrounding trade or immigration. The UK temporary import tariff announced today would therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland. More on that shortly.

She urged MPs to rule out the first option, adding: "By far the best outcome is the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal". That's less than the record 230-vote margin she suffered in January, but still a stinging repudiation of two years of painstaking work.

Now, her ability to negotiate the course of Brexit has mostly been handed to Parliament, who will determine the course by its votes this week.

Tabled by the Scottish National Party's Angus MacNeil and backed by europhile MPs including Tory grandee Kenneth Clarke, Labour's Keith Vaz and Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts, this amendment calls on the Government to halt Brexit by revoking its notice of intention to leave under Article 50 of the European Union treaties.

In the short term, there could be gridlock at British ports and shortages of fresh produce.

"Assuming the house vote against a no-deal tomorrow, as is widely expected, this ultimately means that a softer version of May's deal, possibly along the lines of a Norway model, may be pursued - or even a 2nd referendum".

Even if the deal is approved, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said there might need to be a "technical extension" so that all the needed laws can be passed.

"Now is the time to come together to back this improved Brexit deal and deliver on the instruction of the British people", May said.

European Union member states were equally scathing, led be Germany, the economic powerhouse of the 28-nation EU.

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But, crucially, this suggests to us that the prospect of a third vote on Brexit - that might occur before March 29 but after the European Council summit on March 22 - is being lined up. But the rest of the EU is reluctant to postpone Brexit beyond the late May elections for the EU's legislature, the European Parliament.

"We now have a government that has effectively ceased to function and a country that remains poised on a cliff-edge", Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, said.

And that lack of unity is reflected across the parliament.

However, the political calculus could change if the paralysis drags on. The house will have to answer that question: "does it want to suspend Article 50, does it want a second referendum, or does it want another deal, but not this deal".

But many pro-Brexit lawmakers still believe the agreement keeps the United Kingdom bound too closely to the European Union and said they plan to vote against it, including Northern Ireland's DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) which is propping up the minority Conservative government. Brussels has proven to be unyielding in its negotiations of the terms of the divorce.

Then there's the possibility of a "backstop".

After MPs first rejected the 585-page Brexit deal in January, May promised changes to its hated backstop plan, an arrangement meant to keep open the border with Ireland.

The main opposition Labour Party also maintained its opposition to the deal.

But May warned: "Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face".

The Northern Ireland party, which props up May's minority administration in the Commons, said its 10 MPs would vote against the latest deal as "sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time".

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