Theresa May doesn’t have an easy job, steering the UK into some of the most politically uncharted waters in the history of modern Europe. We’ve seen her survive more than one rocky patch when general opinion was that her resignation was imminent. But now, as the Brexit process reaches its more crucial point, the future of Britain’s political landscape is uncertain.
Parliament will finally have their ‘meaningful’ vote in the House of Commons on December 11, after EU leaders unanimously approved Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
The outcome of this vote is vital: if it is rejected, there are a number of outcomes we can speculate (which you can read more about here), but no one can say for sure exactly what the outcome would be.
If the deal is accepted, the process will continue, and the UK will aim to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, as planned.
READ MORE: What does the Brexit draft deal say? The key points
The chances are, if the deal is rejected, Mrs May won’t be able to stick around as chief for much longer.
Express.co.uk spoke to Professor Alex De Ruyter, Director of Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies.
He said: “If it is voted down, is that a vote of no-confidence in May? It could well be. And that could lead to a vote of no confidence in the House.”
But if things go to plan, and the deal is passed, it will be a staggering achievement for Mrs May.
And while many might imagine Mrs May will be eager to leave the battleground behind, she has proven repeatedly that she has no intention of bowing out early.
“She came across as the only grownup in the room when David Cameron resigned,” said Professor De Ruyter.
“As for her personal health and wellbeing, I don’t know.
“But that’s what you get when you’re the chief commanding officer of the country.”
Will the vote pass?
Before Mrs May gets the chance to prove her resilience once more, she must get this deal passed in the House of Commons, which isn’t looking too likely at this stage.
Mrs May needs 320 votes for the deal to achieve a majority and move the draft along to allow it to be ratified before the March 29 Brexit deadline.
As it stands, she can count on about 240 – a way off what is needed, and a massive uphill battle to gain supporters before the vote.
Those who oppose the deal sat it’s not what people voted for, and could keep the UK tied to the EU indefinitely without any remaining input on its rules.
“It’s hard to imagine a shift in MP’s opinions,” said Professor De Ruyter.
Labour and all the other opposition parties in the House of Commons have said they will vote against it. Dozens of Conservative MPs – some reports say as many as 80 – are also opposed to it.
And Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, who Mrs May relies on to keep her in power, have also said they will vote against it.