UK might never leave EU if Prime Minister's Tuesday's Brexit vote fails

From sea bed to table top, this is a look at how the British fishing industry embodies the hopes, fears, and complexities of the UK leaving the European Union.

Posted: Mar 12, 2019 2:00 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2019 2:00 PM

If lawmakers don't take their final chance to vote for British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday, then -- in the words of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker -- the United Kingdom might never leave the European Union.

In Strasbourg late last night, Juncker referred to the first defeat of May's plans back in January and warned: "In politics sometimes you get a second chance, it's what you do with the second chance that counts, because there will be no third chance ... it is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all."

Whether rebellious Brexiteer Conservatives believe him is another thing entirely. They have, after all, spent months forcing the Prime Minister to go back and forth to Brussels and Strasbourg to make the changes they demanded.

If they don't, May's position as Prime Minister is in serious danger -- and Britain will inch towards a no-deal Brexit or, at least, face a delay to the entire process.

Later on Tuesday, May will appeal to lawmakers in the House of Commons to back her deal -- which, she claims, is now enforced with "legally binding" changes designed to assuage concerns about the UK being locked into permanent arrangements with the EU and undermine Brexit.

Speaking alongside Juncker, after more than two hours of talks in Strasbourg last night, May insisted the changes to her deal would allow the UK to break free of the backstop -- the insurance policy mechanism in the original agreement to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland by keeping customs arrangements between the UK and Ireland aligned.

Yet pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers are deeply skeptical that the changes go far enough in protecting Brexit.

Critics pointed to the phrase "reduce the risk" of the UK being locked in a permanent backstop, rather than a cast iron guarantee. There is also no fixed time limit, causing more concern among anti-EU Tory lawmakers.

On Tuesday, they will push for the government's most senior law chief, Geoffrey Cox, to publish his legal advice on whether the changes May has secured really are "legally binding." They are also likely to seek their own legal opinion on the new documents.

The Northern Irish DUP party, on whose votes May normally relies to give her government a working majority in Parliament, will be decisive. If they oppose the new plans, May's Brexit deal will fail altogether -- but they could also swing many Tories against the government.

If May's plan fails, there will be subsequent votes later this week on whether the Commons wants to block a no deal and whether Brexit should be delayed.

In fact, the new documents published last night suggest Brexit could be delayed until May, before the European elections at the end of that month -- a short extension to the timetable but one which will nevertheless infuriate Euroskeptics. At that point, the Prime Minister's position will become increasingly untenable.

Her own minister and de facto deputy David Lidington told the Commons last night that lawmakers faced a "fundamental choice -- to vote for the improved deal or to plunge this country into a political crisis." And it would, indeed, be a full-blown political crisis. While May is protected until the end of the year from a leadership challenge, she may find herself with little choice but to resign if her deal fails yet again.

May has faced many crucial weeks since striking the original deal with the EU back in November. She has been defeated in Parliament over Brexit many times. But Tuesday is a genuine moment of truth on whether she has done enough to secure the votes she needs. Juncker's warning of "no third chance" was a message designed not only for Conservative rebels but the Prime Minister herself.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 33°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 34°
Decatur
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 34°
After a cold start to the workweek, temperatures are expected to warm above average for the beginning of December.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events