With Ten Days Until the Deadline, Brexit Is Going Pear Shaped

John Bercow seems pretty pleased with himself, doesn't he?House Of Commons/PA Wire via ZUMA

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Brexit sure is interesting, isn’t it? “Interesting,” that is, in the old Chinese sense. After Parliament refused to approve Theresa May’s Brexit deal, but also paradoxically insisted on not leaving the EU without a deal, May scheduled a third and final vote on approving the deal. With ten days left until the Brexit deadline, it seemed right to give Parliament one last chance.

But then the House of Commons speaker—a nonpartisan MP who acts as a combined parliamentarian and order maintainer—threw a spanner in the works. He ruled that long precedent prohibited the same legislation from being introduced twice in a single session, so May couldn’t bring up her deal for another vote unless it was “substantially different” from the previous deal. That’s impossible, of course, since the deal was agreed with the EU and can’t be changed without their approval.

Isn’t that great? There are still options, though. Parliament could adjourn and then begin a new session. Or May could ask the EU for an extension to work through this mess. It’s worth noting that as bad as a no-deal crash out of the EU would be for Britain, it would be bad for the EU too, and for the same reasons. So they’d probably agree to an extension.

But who knows? On March 29 Britain is out of the EU unless everyone figures out some other alternative. They sure do like their drama in Europe, don’t they? I guess it takes the place of the endless wars they used to have.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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