It's now been a few days since the crushing defeat on May's Brexit Deal in the Commons and we've all had some time to consider the pressing question - What the hell do we do now?
May's Brexit Deal has had two chances to get through Parliament and it's been stopped dead in its tracks both times. This has now dragged on for two and a half years and we appear to have gotten absolutely nowhere in that time. As far as I can see and from my reading around, there are seven potential outcomes for Brexit. Let's take a look at them all:
No Deal - The most simplistic, yet scariest prospect is that of Britain crashing out of the European Union with a lack of direction. The No Deal principle is a situation that, in my opinion, we should avoid at all costs. According to a Bank of England report, GDP could fall by around 8% and unemployment could rise by the same amount with No Deal. It's reliant upon us getting a deal elsewhere with allies such as the United States and despite David Davis' talk of rather positive negotiations from across the Atlantic, it'll take a lot more than just the USA for Britain to become a successful trading partner. We cannot sever ties with the EU in such a drastic way as they need us as much as we need them with regards to foreign investment from the likes of Germany and Japan.
Another Deal - As it looks like May's deal is dead in the water, there have been talks of an alternative proposal around for a good while. Options such as a Norway-style arrangement have been discussed but none have been put forward fully. The Norway-style proposal asks for lessened payments to the EU, staying in the single market and customs union. Those campaigning for a 'softer' Brexit may also be supporters of this agreement, if it ever comes to fruition. However, Brexiteers may not be content with this arrangement, as it doesn't address the immigration issue which they have been so vocal about. It makes sense personally as we have the economic benefits of the EU along with lower payment rates for the privilege of being inside the European clique.
Renegotiation With Parliament - Despite May's best efforts, this seems rather unlikely. As said previously, she's had two goes at getting her Deal through and a victory third time around seems highly improbable. May has made amendments to her Deal and her meetings with other party leaders will aim to find a form of common ground if they ever happen. With Corbyn refusing to negotiate unless No Deal is removed from the table, this is currently an unlikely scenario. Renegotiation is also very reliant on the EU willing to compromise, which they've categorically stated they will not.
General Election - Another option brainstormed, a General Election would result in a personnel change, possibly to Labour, who would in their opinion be able to negotiate a better deal than May's current one. Much like the above, a General Election is going on the assumption that the EU are willing to renegotiate the current proposals and of course, they are not. Ironically speaking, a Labour-proposed deal is pretty similar to May's deal and so, would a General Election really help?
Second Referendum/People's Vote - There's another article about this on the site already, but I'll try to condense it down into a small paragraph. The idea of a People's Vote stems from the poor decisions and misleading actions from the 'Leave' camp during 2016's initial Brexit referendum. This Second Referendum has gathered significant momentum in the last few months and supporters wish to give the people another chance to vote. Some commentators have claimed that this process would be undemocratic and that the initial will of the people is not being respected. Having a People's Vote could add up to 24 weeks to the whole Brexit process, which some have said is far too long. The People's Vote option is a very mixed bag amongst the public but there's a possibility it could happen.
May's Resignation - One of the other options would be to call for May's resignation and have a change of personnel within the Conservative Party itself. Brexiteers majorly are calling for it so that a staunch Leaver can take over and carry the Deal through, such as Dominic Raab. Those wishing for her departure want a 'harder' Brexit than is currently being offered - a No Deal scenario could suit these people. However, May won the motion of no confidence on 16th January (by 52% to 48% - the irony!) and her job seems safe. For now...
Remain - The final option is to scrap Brexit entirely and undo all of the (seemingly) hard work of politicians. This is one that supporters of a Second Referendum are also in agreement with. Moreover, the principle of a People's Vote, from what I can see, is a push for a Remain victory and if that doesn't happen, then where do you go? The Remain principle is undoing the hard work of politicians over the last two-and-a-half years and to me, it just seems a tad strange to go back on a decision that has been decided by the will of the people. This makes a mockery of democracy though...
Therefore, in conclusion, there are a myriad of solutions to this Brexit mess and it's ultimately up to those in the House Of Commons and Lords to decide on a viable solution. May keeps talking about 'the will of the people' being respected and that is what it boils down to more or less. Personally speaking, the 'will of the people' was to leave the EU and that's got to be respected. Undoing the work of bureaucrats and politicians seems a waste of time to me and so, Brexit should be carried out with a Norway-style agreement of some form and then if we get a few years down the line and everything crashes and burns, then have a People's Vote. How's that sound?