On again, off again Brexit vote is off... again

When we were looking at the upcoming Brexit vote in the British House of Commons yesterday (tentatively scheduled for tomorrow), things were not looking good for Prime Minister Theresa May. It’s begun to seem as if she’s the only person left in all the remnants of the British Empire who still believes that she can get her deal approved and finalize her nation’s departure from the European Union. Still, she was putting a brave face on things and insisting there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

That didn’t last long. It now appears that the PM realized the light was the headlamp of an oncoming train and she’s reportedly going to delay the vote yet again. (Bloomberg)

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is calling off a crucial vote in Parliament on whether to approve her Brexit deal, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The vote in the House of Commons to approve the terms of the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union was due to be held on Tuesday evening but is now due to be rescheduled, according to the person who declined to be named.

It’s still possible that May’s Cabinet will take a different view and push the prime minister to carry on and call the vote as planned for Tuesday evening. She is now holding talks with her top ministers to finalize the government’s position.

That was another of those anonymously sourced stories, but May came out a few hours later and confirmed it herself. Still, I do have to wonder just what another delay is going to accomplish. There are two days before she’s due to be back in Brussels to ask the EU for more concessions to make the deal more palatable to the Brexiteers. But if she was really expecting any substantial results from that meeting, why ask Parliament to move forward with a vote tomorrow to begin with?

The underlying reason may be that May already knows what the EU’s answer will be. They’ve flatly denied almost every request that Brits have made, taking a hard line in terms of how they plan to punish Great Britain for leaving their clubhouse. I suppose if she had somehow gotten the House of Commons to approve the deal, coming back with a few additional goodies would shore up her support and help avoid a split among the Tories that could see her booted from office before the year is out.

Either way, Theresa May needs to pull some sort of rabbit out of her hat. If this deal collapses, her country is heading for either a No Deal Brexit (which is a headache for all concerned) or, very possibly, another referendum vote on Brexit. And if that happens, you can expect Labour to have a fighting chance of taking back the government, very likely dumping Brexit altogether.