Agreement. This is where the prospect of a lengthy delay plays into the thinking of some.
A long delay presents the UK, potentially, with a choice. If it is to take part in the European elections, then it must legislate to do so before April 11. In that scenario, the
EU could propose a longish delay of around two years, with a fixed end point, but with a neat get-out clause. Were the Hous
e of Commons to approve May’s Brexit deal within that period, the UK would flip out of the EU and the Article 50 ex
tension would be reincarnated as the two-year transition, as per the current Withdrawal Agreement.
If that all sounds a little fiddly, here it is in simpler language. UK lawmakers would be presented with a choice of voti
ng to leave the EU with a deal that they may not love, or remain as a full member state and what that leads to is any
one’s guess: A general election, another referendum — take your pick of undesirable outcomes.
All of this was complicated further on Monday, when the Speaker of the House of Commons lobbed in a constitutional hand g
renade. John Bercow pronounced that Theresa May could not bring her Brexit deal back for a new vote in Parl
iament without the question being asked sufficiently differently from the one defeated last week.