The Brexit Chaos: Two Years On

Two years ago today, Theresa May announced that the UK would be leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered, and begun the process of negotiating a withdrawal agreement, which came to be known as Brexit.

Today’s that day, so now what?

Well first of all, we know that this isn’t how the Brexit story went.

MPs today voted for a third time on Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement, which was rejected by 344 votes to 286.

The Prime Minister now has until April 12th to secure an extension to her on-going negotiations, in an attempt to avoid a no deal Brexit, with Donald Tusk quickly announcing that the European Council is set to meet on April 10th.

In a bid to push through the meaningful vote third time lucky, Mrs May told the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs on Thursday that she would resign as PM so someone else can lead the second round of negotiations.

Mrs May said: “I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.

“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended to in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”

Now the extension date has been confirmed as April 12th, the UK has more time to decide between it’s two options – to leave the EU with no deal or to go back to Brussels and request a further deadline extension.

And with 1,009 days since the referendum took place on 23rd June 2016, Parliament is still in disarray as to what a Plan B for Brexit as a whole would actually look like if Mrs May’s deal continues to lose a majority.

MPs voted on Wednesday night on indicative votes – which is what they wanted these alternative arrangements to be – but none of the eight options received a majority. This exercise is expected to be repeated early next week.

The chances of a no deal Brexit, an upcoming general election or second referendum, or even cancelling Brexit altogether are becoming more and more possible.

Thousands of Leave supporters gathered outside Westminster today as the vote took place, in protest at the delays. The March to Leave and Make Brexit Happen rallies are believed to have been organised by members of UKIP and EDL, including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Leave Means Leave, a prominent campaign group supporting a no deal Brexit, is set to continue their Brexit celebrations at Millbank Tower tonight – the same place Farage famously raised a pint to the referendum result back in June 2016.

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