Tomorrow’s Critical Brexit Vote: What Could Happen Next?

Written by Ellen Layzell |

The wait for Brexit potentially is almost over…

Tomorrow, Members of Parliament will have their say on Theresa May’s Brexit deal in a ‘meaningful’ vote. It was previously postponed in December, when it was evident that the government would lose the vote. Yet it appears it is no more likely now that the deal will be passed. So, what are the possible outcomes of tomorrow’s vote?

Tomorrow the House of Commons will decide the UK’s fate

The MPs can either reject or pass May’s deal. Amendments can be suggested which may make the deal easier for MPs to approve, though amendments look unlikely considering the lack of progress made in the past months. If the deal is approved, the government will introduce the deal as legislation. Meaning the UK should leave the EU on 29 March feeling chuffed to bits with our new-found freedom/ sovereignty/ lack of crucial EU workers.

It is slightly more complicated if the inevitable occurs: the MPs reject the deal. Following this, there are 5 options: including a no-deal, back to renegotiating with the EU, a general election (not another one??), a vote of no confidence or, finally, a referendum.

The government has three parliamentary working days to decide which route to take, and the MPs can vote to influence the government’s decisions.


A no-deal outcome would mean that the UK just leaves the EU on March 29… Without a deal, which could be fun! Who knows what would happen? Although now we do have some practice; it’s not like we’ve never before voted for anything without properly comprehending the potential outcomes. Having said this, MPs ultimately could, and probably would, vote to stop a no-deal.

Secondly, May could return to Brussels for what feels like the billionth time to ask if they wouldn’t mind renegotiating with us. The EU could say yes, in which case we all have the pleasure of going through the past 2 years again for the next 2 years. The EU could also (and probably would) say no – meaning the government must consider their four remaining options.

May in Brussels: “Ha ha ha everything is terrible”

The third possibility is a general election. The MPs would have to vote to approve this but, if approved, May and Corbyn would go head-to-head in a battle of the witless. Each party could lay out a more nuanced Brexit plan, which may allow the public to have more of a say on what they’d like to happen. From there, the elected government could decide what to do, with the election results offering some semblance of What the People Want.

“If approved, May and Corbyn would go head-to-head in a battle of the witless.”

The next option is a vote of no confidence. In this case, all the MPs would vote for or against the current government. If the government win, they remain in power as they are – not very strong and questionably stable.

If they lose, the MPs have an option to vote in a “clear alternative government” (which could be Labour, or maybe, if everyone goes completely mad, the Lib Dems). If they fail to find an alternative, the government (and its opponents) can fight for the MPs’ confidence for 14 days – Hunger Games style. If everyone loses again, a general election is called.

Finally, another referendum could be called. Making this happen would involve some legal faff after which a pre-vote “referendum period” can take place. In this period, both sides can catatrophise at us again for a few months. And then, this time around, we can all pick the sensible option and pray the pound returns to its previous value.

This might be a good option but honestly I would rather gouge my own eyes out with hot spoons than see that Vote Leave bus again.

Throwback to headlines like this one

We must now sit and wait, until tomorrow, to discover the UK’s fate. No option seems ideal, though there does remain a bonus option for the government just to cancel Brexit and to pretend it never happened. Maybe it would be best if we just ignored this minor blip and carried on? Just kidding: Brexit means Brexit (and also never-ending torture).