What will happen after the rejection of the agreement by the British Parliament?

Theresa May, November 25, 2018 in Brussels. - SIPA

A text that did not agree. British MPs overwhelmingly rejected the Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May with Brussels on Tuesday night, plunging the United Kingdom and the European Union into uncertainty two and a half months ahead of the planned Brexit date. March 29th. What will happen after the rejection of this text, which has satisfied neither the Europhiles, supporters of closer ties with the European Union, nor eurosceptics, eager for a sharper break? Here are the main possible scenarios.

There is nothing that legally prevents the government from resubmitting the same agreement again and again until it receives the seal of the members. For Theresa May as the EU, the long-term divorce agreement is the only one and the best one possible. On Tuesday, despite her severe defeat in Parliament, she warned that there was no alternative. However, she proposed inter-party discussions to determine the way forward.

The rejected agreement settled the bill that London would have to pay to the EU to honor its commitments, defined the rights of expatriate citizens and, most controversially, contained a provision designed to prevent the return of a physical boundary between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

After its rejection by the House of Commons, one of the possible scenarios is that of a Brexit without agreement, particularly feared by the business community, with the specter of a collapse of the pound and a soaring unemployment .

It would then be a disorderly exit, with no transition period to cushion the blow: economic relations between the UK and the EU would be governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a a multitude of customs and regulatory controls should be put in place urgently.

Shortages of drugs, monster traffic jams near harbors, aircraft pinned to the ground, loss of growth ... These prospects are swept by the most bitter Brexiters, for whom "a lack of agreement is better than a bad agreement", and want an independent commercial policy.

However, the threat of a "no deal" seems to have been thwarted last week by MPs, with the adoption of an amendment requiring the executive to submit by Monday an "Plan B" amendable.

The possibility of a second referendum, hitherto ruled out by Theresa May, is demanded by the Europhiles in the hope that it reverses the result of the consultation of 23 June 2016 and some politicians to unblock the situation.

It remains to define the questions asked: continuation in the EU or Theresa May's plan? Or exit without agreement? Without guarantee that the consultation would give a result different from that of June 2016. The Labor Party, the main opposition party, would take this option if it did not get the early elections it wants.

The Labor Party has tabled, immediately after the rejection of the agreement, a motion of censure against the government, which will be debated on Wednesday. However, if a hundred or so Tory MPs tried to overthrow Theresa May in December, it is not said that they are joining the opposition for a maneuver that could make them lose power.

If Labor wins, they intend to negotiate a new agreement with Brussels but it would take time, said Jeremy Corbyn, referring to a likely postponement of the date of exit from the EU.

Postponing Brexit via an extension of Article 50 of the EU Treaty, which governs the departure of a Member State, is increasingly emerging as a credible possibility. The organization of a second referendum or early parliamentary elections would also require the postponement of the Brexit date.

A hundred MEPs from different political parties have pledged Monday to support a request for postponement of London. But in this case, what about the European elections, which will take place between 23 and 26 May? According to a diplomatic source, "an extension after 29 March is possible but not beyond 30 June because the new European Parliament will be constituted". Theresa May said on Monday that the Brexit date should not be postponed.