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.

Confirmed Cases: 155246

Reported Deaths: 4065
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25151785
Lake13570355
St. Joseph9145161
Elkhart8759135
Allen8129228
Hamilton6117113
Vanderburgh576760
Tippecanoe369515
Hendricks3268133
Monroe325738
Porter313649
Johnson3105128
Clark293961
Delaware293274
Vigo260538
Madison235093
Cass224022
LaPorte222858
Warrick192965
Kosciusko182625
Floyd179167
Howard162466
Bartholomew141558
Dubois138626
Marshall137426
Wayne126930
Henry125429
Grant125339
Boone122250
Hancock118245
Noble115933
Jackson112915
Dearborn94928
Morgan93740
Lawrence87436
Daviess87133
Gibson87111
Clinton84716
Shelby81730
LaGrange80115
Harrison76224
Knox75610
Putnam72816
Posey7146
DeKalb71011
Fayette66618
Steuben6278
Miami6095
Jasper5945
White58515
Montgomery58322
Greene53337
Scott51813
Decatur50439
Adams4837
Whitley4556
Clay4467
Ripley4418
Sullivan43714
Wells4288
Wabash4119
Starke4077
Orange40425
Huntington3905
Spencer3906
Washington3753
Franklin37225
Jennings36713
Fulton3523
Randolph3529
Jefferson3415
Pike33018
Carroll32513
Perry31014
Jay3056
Fountain2943
Tipton27523
Vermillion2411
Parke2323
Newton22511
Rush2154
Blackford2093
Owen2051
Martin1990
Crawford1581
Pulaski1521
Brown1393
Ohio1297
Benton1100
Union1100
Switzerland920
Warren781
Unassigned0234

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 190430

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin31466640
Cuyahoga19706682
Hamilton16687343
Montgomery10377189
Lucas8285373
Butler8276129
Summit6689265
Warren420064
Stark3796181
Mahoning3709286
Marion338850
Pickaway301146
Delaware287227
Lorain272889
Fairfield264457
Licking257966
Wood249681
Clark249456
Clermont245938
Greene229242
Trumbull2270134
Allen213073
Columbiana212887
Miami199958
Lake193659
Medina185642
Portage162068
Mercer152128
Wayne140269
Ross139436
Richland132324
Tuscarawas129024
Athens12052
Erie115553
Darke114451
Madison105415
Hancock104725
Auglaize100616
Putnam97427
Lawrence93025
Shelby90914
Muskingum8884
Geauga85950
Scioto8599
Belmont78827
Union7583
Ashtabula72648
Sandusky71122
Huron70912
Preble62418
Holmes61710
Seneca60114
Ottawa58430
Fulton53711
Henry47317
Jefferson4694
Clinton46413
Defiance46013
Jackson4598
Crawford4528
Fayette4498
Highland4304
Logan4233
Ashland3986
Champaign3983
Knox38416
Brown3793
Perry36611
Washington35124
Morrow3442
Hardin33613
Williams3354
Coshocton32112
Guernsey3218
Pike3000
Wyandot29513
Gallia29113
Van Wert2633
Meigs21012
Adams2096
Paulding2012
Carroll2007
Hocking1979
Monroe16118
Noble1290
Vinton963
Harrison803
Morgan780
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 61°
Friday Afternoon Showers & Thunderstorms
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events