The Brexit vote – five most likely scenarios facing Theresa May and the nation

DEAL or no deal? No, it’s not the Noel Edmonds TV programme that people across the nation will be tuning into tonight.

But the Parliamentary vote on Brexit which is being billed as the most important for generations.

With Europe and the world’s eyes fixed on its outcome, it is a decision that affects every one of us – in life and in business.

It’s consequences are more far-reaching than legal rows over straight bananas or whether the Pound in our pocket will buy us fewer Euros on our summer holiday.

If Prime Minister Theresa May loses tonight’s Brexit vote, what world are we likely to wake up in this time tomorrow?

If the result goes against her – which seems increasingly likely at the time of writing – there are probably five options.

Here are the runners and riders and our form guide to each:

1. No deal Brexit.
This would likely lead to a vote of no confidence in Mrs May if she is unable to get any deal through MPs.

2. Renegotiate
This is a possibility if she loses by less than 100 votes as it could give her the chance to go back to Brussels to tweak her deal and get it through Parliament.

However if it is a historical landslide defeat – which some experts are predicting – it is difficult to see how she can renegotiate. She’s already said herself that this is the last chance saloon deal, plus she’s already been back for more concessions. Again, a vote of no confidence would be odds-on to follow.

3. Referendum
Experts say this could buy her time, if the country voted in favour of her deal in a referendum that would probably save her.
But the big question is whether anyone can really see that happening?

It’s unlikely she will turn to another referendum for the deal currently on the table or for Brexit considering she’s ruled it out herself in the past, “Brexit means Brexit”. Also the option that even holding another referendum would possibly trigger a no confidence vote.

4. General Election.
In a high-risk strategy, Mrs May could choose to have another General Election in a final bid to break the deadlock. The flipside is that she knows she’d only end up losing seats, and Tory party grandees probably wouldn’t let her lead them into the next election battle.

5. Resignation.
To be honest, as determined as she is, she may just say that she’s had enough and step down, having taken on a challenge that even Hercules would have drawn the line at. Commentators say this is unlikely though, as if she was going to walk she surely would have done so by now?

But first MPs must debate at least 12 amendments to the motion of the Brexit deal before the vote itself.

A long night lays ahead.

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