Theresa May has negotiated a deal for Britain to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. But first, she has to get the agreement through Parliament in the UK. European Council President Donald Tusk said at the G20 summit on Friday the deal negotiated between the UK and EU is the “only possible one.”
He said: “If this deal is rejected in the Commons, we are left with, as was already stressed a few weeks ago by prime minister May, an alternative. No deal or no Brexit at all.
“I want to reassure you that the EU is prepared for every scenario.”
What are the options left if parliament votes no?
The deal has caused a major divide – both within parliament and within the government itself.
READ MORE: What happens to Theresa May if she wins or loses the vote?
If parliament rejects the deal on December 11, there is a great amount of uncertainty over what could happen next.
But we can speculate that a voting down of the deal will result in one version of the following four scenarios:
Professor Alex De Ruyter, Director of Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies, told Express.co.uk: “There is a distinct possibility of no-deal.”
This would mean an immediate Brexit: no transition period, no trade agreements, no certainty on immigrant status, etc.
It would also mean no transition period, the two-year buffer negotiated to allow more time to iron out the nitty gritty details of a deal.
There are concerns about the economic uncertainty that could ensue if this happens, which you can read more about HERE.
2) EXTEND ARTICLE 50
“Parliament would want them to be forced to go back and keep negotiating,” Professor De Ruyter said.
“The EU would probably say yes to an extension of Article 50…I don’t see any appetite for a no-deal from the other EU27.”
But Mrs May told Commons on Thursday: “What is clear is that any extension to article 50, anything like that, reopens the negotiations, reopens the deal.
“And at that point the deal can go, frankly, in any direction.”
3) SECOND REFERENDUM
Professor De Ruyter said: “The basic premise of democracy that people are entitled to change their mind.”
If, hypothetically, the public now voted to remain in the EU, the UK would need to begin the process of rescinding Article 50 and trying to mend bridges.
Mrs May has long ruled out the possibility of a second referendum.
But if the deal was voted down and pressure increased, there is the chance it could happen, meaning the only sure way to ensure Brexit is for this deal to pass.
4) GENERAL ELECTION
Holding another general election isn’t really a solution to a no vote, but it might be an inevitability.
“If it is voted down, is that a vote of no-confidence in May?” Professor De Ruyter asked.
“It could well be. And that could lead to a vote of no confidence in the House.”
The worry here is, as we saw in the last general election where the Tories lost their overall majority, that another election could further split an already divided parliament.