Theatrics are only certainty in Brexit's next act

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 11, 2019 - Duration: 02:14s

Theatrics are only certainty in Brexit's next act

A new act of the Brexit drama unfolds this week, with as many as three crucial votes on the agenda and no sure outcome.

There will be pomp though, and lots of it.

Lucy Fielder reports.


Theatrics are only certainty in Brexit's next act

Britain's 800-year-old parliament is creaking under the colossal decision it has to make this week - how and when to Brexit.

It's less than three weeks until the UK is supposed to leave and all that's guaranteed is the pomp and pageantry.

This is how it all starts.

UPSOT - "DIVISION" Not a reference to a nation split over the merits of EU membership but the speaker announcing a vote.

Lawmakers - or MPs - choose a corridor to shuffle down - this one's for the noes and there's another for the ayes.

As tellers count them.

It takes about 15 minutes - longer than that and the Serjeant-at-Arms will come to investigate with his ceremonial sword.

That five-foot-long mace he's carrying marks the start of the day's proceedings.

First up: Tuesday (March 12).

Prime Minister Theresa May puts her revised Brexit deal before parliament after a historic defeat sent her back to the drawing board.

If that vote fails, she'll hold another, asking lawmakers if they'd like to leave without any kind of deal - an abrupt divorce that could shake the world's fifth largest economy.

If that's a no, there'll be a third ballot on Thursday (March 14).

This time, it'll be aye or no to delaying Brexit.

A yes could open the door to reversing the whole thing.

Many 'remainers' now want another referendum, a so-called 'people's vote'.

Brexiters say, we had a people's vote, when Britons voted to leave in 2016.

That referendum fractured cities, villages - even families.

And parliament too.

The crumbling exterior of the Palace of Westminster echoing the erosion within its walls of a century of right versus left party politics.

So two years on, you might think there'd be a plan.

But May has no majority in parliament and relies on uneasy bedfellows who've hated her Brexit plans so far.

She has been buying time, but now it's running out and this week's results will be anybody's guess.

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