Brexit: May offers resignation – but still no clear way forward

The Brexit drama took another twist yesterday (Wednesday, March 27), when Theresa May said she would resign as prime minister – if her withdrawal agreement is passed by parliament.

Following a meeting at the prime minister’s Chequers country residence on Monday between May and several of her most prominent party members, she confirmed that she would step down as prime minister when and if the agreement is passed, in an apparent bid to win support for the deal.

That move seems to have worked to a certain degree; a number of conservative MPs who were previously opposed to the deal have signaled that they may be willing to now support it.

However, it is still not clear if the agreement has sufficient support to be passed. Furthermore, it is unclear if May’s coalition partners, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), will support the deal, having not done so previously.

May has said that she wants to bring back her withdrawal agreement for a third “meaningful vote” – which as already been defeated twice; if it succeeds in passing, the UK will leave the European Union, with a deal, on May 22.

However, the speaker of the house, John Bercow, has reiterated his previous ruling that, in order for the deal to be brought back to the house, it would have to be “substantially different” than the two versions of the deal that were already defeated.

If an agreement is not passed, the EU is asking that the UK indicate if it wants to hold European elections by April 12; the elections are due to take place in May.

Indicative votes

Yesterday, the House of Commons voted in a series of ‘indicative votes’ on a number of possible solutions to break the deadlock.

Of the eight motions that were put on the table, none of them were passed.

Among the motions that were defeated were: a motion by Labour’s Margaret Beckett for a confirmatory public vote (268 votes in favour, 295 against); and a motion from the Scottish National Party’s Joanna Cherry on revoking Article 50 (184 votes in favour, 293 against).