What are the pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios?

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Dan Sab­bagh


The EU is ex­pected to pub­lish a let­ter of clar­i­fi­ca­tion em­pha­sis­ing that any use of the North­ern Ire­land back­stop would only ever be tem­po­rary. Theresa May will make a pub­lic ap­peal for sup­port in a speech in Stoke this morn­ing, while MPs move on to day four of the Brexit de­bate in the Com­mons with Philip Ham­mond, the chan­cel­lor, clos­ing pro­ceed­ings.


If May al­lows it, MPs will fi­nally get to vote on her deal. The Speaker will select the amend­ments to be voted on. The one to watch is Hi­lary Benn’s move to re­ject May’s deal and no deal and give MPs a say in what hap­pens next. May will speak just be­fore vot­ing starts at 7pm. Jeremy Cor­byn could im­me­di­ately de­mand to hold a vote of no con­fi­dence if May loses.


If May were to pre­vail, the DUP have threat­ened to aban­don the con­fi­dence and sup­ply agree­ment, leav­ing the To­ries with­out an over­all ma­jor­ity. A con­fi­dence vote could be held but, in this sce­nario, the DUP have said they will sup­port the Con­ser­va­tives to try to get the Brexit deal rene­go­ti­ated. May may find she is not able to stay on if she suf­fers a heavy de­feat for her deal – 80-plus rebels.

Thurs­day and be­yond

May could dash to Brus­sels to see if there is any hope in rene­go­ti­at­ing. She would have un­til the close of busi­ness on 21 Jan­uary to un­veil a plan B; MPs would then de­bate and vote on that later that week. To­ries push­ing for a soft Brexit could break ranks; May could seek a gen­eral elec­tion; or cam­paign­ers for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum could find they have a chance to pre­vail.

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