Margaret Thatcher became known for the phrase "There is no alternative" in the arguments about the need for reforms in the free market. Updating the phrase for Thatcher's heir, Teresa May, may go something like, "There is no alternative (unless this is not the case, in which case it will come up with something else.)"
Last week, Parliament voted in May to ask the EU to extend the Article 50 process, according to which Britain currently has to leave the European Union on 29 March, whether there is an agreement on future economic relations with a bloc. The May government previously said that the deadline could not be extended but changed after Parliament twice rejected the deal it had negotiated with the EU leaders, then also rejected Brexit . But she added conditions for the proposal to extend the deadline: She will present her controversial deal for a third vote this week. If approved this time, it will only request a short three-month extension of the deadline for finalizing the details. If she had not, she would have wanted a longer delay.
Moreover, this did not happen at all. On Monday, Speaker John Berkow declined to allow a third vote on May's deal, unless significant changes were made to him, referring to a precedent dating back to 17 century . to be returned for a vote in the same parliamentary session. (The second proposal was obviously different from the first to satisfy it.)
Given this failure, you may suspect that May will ask for a long extension – that's what she said she would do if her deal was not approved – but she instead requested only a quarter-long delay, accusing Berkov about the fact that the deal was not approved this week and expressed confidence that she could do it next week. European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Wednesday that an extension is possible but the EU will only approve after Parliament approved the May withdrawal agreement. In essence, the prime minister and the EU are working together to strengthen Parliament's approval of their deal, hoping that the threat of Brexit without a deal (the deadline is next Friday!), Can lead to enough MPs.
It may be. Jacob Rees-Mog, the leading Brexiteer in the conservative party in May, proposed to support his agreement with a third vote. The deadline will also put pressure on May's coalition partners in the Democratic Union party.
The Northern Ireland DUP hates the May agreement that would leave Britain in a customs union with Europe for the moment, but the party does not really want Brexit, which would not have been concluded, which could lead to a hardline with the Republic of Ireland.
Then is the Mayan Deal again or not? Mei and Tusk clearly want MEPs to think so, but Tusk's statement did not exclude the extension for more than three months, as James Forsyth notes. Tusk also proposed calling for an extraordinary European Council next week if the deal fails in parliament. This makes it difficult for MEPs to understand what will happen if they do not approve the deal in May next week. There may be an alternative, we just do not know what it is.