The latest Brexit summit in Brussels leaves Theresa May facing a dwindling number of options over Britain's exit from the EU. The 27 leaders made it abundantly clear to the British prime minister that the draft withdrawal agreement they had reached after nearly two years of talks was not open to change, according to AFP.
Any meaningful alterations will come only in a separate treaty on future economic relations that the sides will begin discussing after Britain leaves the bloc on March 29th 2019. Here are the main scenarios facing Britain while the clock ticks down to the day it departs the European project after 46 years.
This is the Brexit that the British government and EU leaders have accepted and which the British parliament is likely to refuse to accept. The deal has been rejected by opposing wings of parliament for either keeping Britain tied too closely or remotely to the European Union. May aborted a vote on the deal set for December 11th because of its almost certain defeat. Brexit backers in her party then plotted an ultimately unsuccessful coup that saw more than a third of Conservative MPs back a motion to force May out.
This is the doomsday scenario that threatens to trigger a recession in Britain and markedly slow the European Union's economic growth. May's agreement was meant to keep trade rules between the world's fifth-biggest economy and largest single market almost unchanged for a transition period running through to the end of 2020. A sudden shift to different standards would impact almost every economic sector and possibly see the costs of everyday products in Britain soar.
“People’s Vote” referendum
In the event of a parliamentary deadlock an increasingly large number of people are demanding a “People’s Vote”, a new referendum to allow the country to vote once again on BREXIT. This was the argument presented by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at a press conference at the British Academy in London on December 14th. Blair criticised Parliament for failing to reach consensus on the Deal option and there being no consensus on the No Deal option, what he referred to as the painful (No deal) versus pointless (Deal) BREXIT dilemma. Therefore he felt the preferable and increasingly likely best option was to return the decision to the country and have a second referendum. He also felt this would almost certainly mean extending the implementation of Article 50 (the EU constitution clause covering leaving the union).