WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Theresa May lost big Tuesday as the United Kingdom Parliament rejected her Brexit plan in what was a pivotal vote on the plan’s future.
Britain’s big vote Tuesday ended as many expected with the Parliament rejecting May’s plan for Britain to exit the European Union by a 432-202 margin, The New York Times reports.
Jeremy Corbyn, who is the leader of the opposition to Brexit, offered a vote of no confidence in May, a move that could lead to an early parliamentary election. May said she’d debate the motion Wednesday.
Brexit — the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union — has been on the minds of lawmakers for close to 2 1/2 years now. This vote was the most crucial in deciding the plan’s future. Voters approved Brexit in a referendum on June 23, 2016, with 51.9 percent voting in favor.
So where does that leave us? As The New York Times puts it, “No one knows what will come next, as Britain enters uncharted territory, and various factions make contradictory demands.”
Now, Brexit remains in chaos, and its future is uncertain with only 73 days left until March 29 when it’s scheduled to happen, according to The Washington Post.
What could happen: The U.K. government has three days to devise a new plan, according to Vox. As of now, the “plan B” for May may just be “plan A” all over again.
There are six possible outcomes from what happens next, according to CNBC:
- May and her team may start negotiating with lawmakers to switch their votes to approve the plan. She would only do this if she feels members of Parliament are close to switching votes.
- If Corbyn’s “no confidence” vote gains steam, there could be a new general election that could reshape the U.K. leadership.
- The U.K. could push for a new referendum, which would give voters a chance to vote on whether they still support Brexit.
- The U.K. and EU may renegotiate Article 50, which is the legal explanation of how a country leaves the European Union. They may extend the time limit for Britain to leave the EU.
- Lawmakers may use this ruling as a way to end Brexit altogether, blocking any more attempts at votes.
- Brexit could still happen, but there wouldn’t be a deal. The U.K. would leave the European Union without either side making a deal. This could lead to economic damage throughout Europe, though. Unemployment across Europe would reportedly jump to 7.5 percent and the economy could shrink by 8 percent.