EU Throws Theresa May a Poisoned Lifeline: Court Rules the UK Can Cancel Brexit!


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is willing to let the UK cancel Brexit even in a negotiation Extension.

In the biggest poisoned political lifeline effort in history, the ECJ ruled the UK Can Cancel Brexit Without the Permission of the Other 27 EU Members.

The ECJ also ruled this could be done without altering the terms of Britain's membership. This decision comes a day before MPs are due to vote on Theresa May's deal for leaving the EU.

What To Expect

  • On Tuesday there will be a Brexit vote in the UK parliament. They will vote on whether or not to approve May's ridiculous agreement.
  • An overwhelming majority of UK MPs will vote down the agreement

That much is about 95% certain. The uncertainty is more along the lines of a vote postponement than acceptance.

Than What?

  1. If the margin of defeat is slim, May will request a few tweaks from the EU and put it to vote again. It would pass the second time.
  2. May could resign.
  3. May could threaten to resign in an attempt to force Tories to vote for the deal or risk losing an election to Labour.
  4. Tories could stage a leadership challenge vote of no confidence (Only Tories vote). May would be replaced by a Tory vote.
  5. Parliament could stage a vote of no confidence (All parliament votes). If May failed, there would be new elections.
  6. May could threaten another referendum. Depending on the precise wording of the referendum, the EU might agree to go along with it.
  7. May could ask the EU for more time to work out a better deal.
  8. May could decide to do what she said all along: No deal is better than a bad deal.
  9. May could decide to request extension after extension until it appears a vote will go the way she wants.
  10. May or a new government might ask for another referendum.

I simply do not know how to handicap this, and I rather doubt anyone else does either.

May tried to force a binary option: Hard Brexit or a deal. The ECJ threw her another lifeline and that opens up possibilities.

In general, I expect the May will get clobbered in the first round. The most likely thing is she goes back to the EU for a time extension and tweaks. One time.

If it fails again by a very small number, May would keep trying.

If May fails a second time by a large amount, she may resign, call for a new referendum, or be ousted in a leadership challenge.

The least likely outcome is a new referendum. No one wants it, but someone might bluff threaten that move for political purposes.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (16)
No. 1-8

The question is, why would Britain want to sink with the EU? Titanic was a disaster.


Tories need to get rid of May internally.

2. Elect Boris Johnson or some other actual Brexit supporter as Prime minister with all others supporting the chosen one instead of stabbing each other in the back like Gove did to Johnson last time causing May to become a Prime Minister despite being a remainer.

3. Prepare for NO deal Brexit and re-name it WTO-Brexit since they will be trading under WTO rules with EU in a no deal Brexit.

4. EU exports much more products to UK than UK exports to EU so have UK government tell companies that since UK will be earning much more from tariffs than companies exporting from UK have to pay that the difference will be used to lower those companies taxes that export to EU a lot and also lower general corporate taxes a bit.

5. Since Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium all export much more to UK than UK exports to them calm the people that it is in everyone of those countries interest that trade runs smoothly.

6. Tell Ireland that UK will keep the Ireland- Northern Ireland border open unilaterally and ask Ireland to also do the same. Ireland will do that if the current government in Ireland does not want to get the Macron treatment from Irish people. Also explain that the border can stay open because Ireland is also out of Schengen free movement area like UK.

7. Create a self customs system and have just some checks at ports. Have local customs officers at large factories and in large cities for medium sized companies.

Keep the Irish border free by freeing ordinary people from declaring or paying any customs when taking over the border under 500 pounds worth of stuff. Have some checks after the border sometimes to keep smuggling to a minimum but have no checks on the irish border.

8. Tell Macron and Merkel that they and French and German taxpayers can pay the 39 billion UK was supposed to pay and that May promised before negotiations had even started. Look at their faces in despair. Then say "why did you not make a good deal when you had a chance, why did you let Barnier and Juncker push a crappy deal on UK?"

9. Tell that all current EU citizens living permanently in UK can stay provided they stay employed and use no welfare. Send Romanian gypsies living on welfare back to Romania and stop all welfare and childrens benefit payments from UK to Poland for example and other EU countries. Tell EU that this needs to also the EU policy aka UK citizens earning a living get to stay in EU countries. Also let pensioners living on their foreign pensions stay and ask the same from EU.

10. Make a deal on flight and tourism so that they work both ways. France and Spain are dependent on UK tourists so they should make sure this continues. Most EU airlines earn good money flying to UK or use UK airspace to fly to USA so this should also work for flights.

11. Get rid of EU on the date specified and breathe a sigh of relief that UK was not suckered into the worst deal of the century by incompetent May and her clueless ex-communist adviser Olly Robbins. May's deal would have chained UK to EU without any say and EU deciding when UK can leave EU and caused multi-year uncertainty while EU was negotiating the permanent trade deal with UK with EU having all the power since under May's deal EU could have decided when EU allows UK to leave and all on completely made up and non-existent problem conjured out of thin air by May herself in the deluded belief that there must be a backstop and only way to get a backstop from Barnier and Jucnker was for May and Robbins to make every UK citizen bend hard and take it from EU.

You are free to spread this anywhere you like.

I hope May resigns, the sooner the better.

Ideally the Brexit boys would grow a spine and vote May OUT inside the Tories!


There are only two viable outcomes, 1) getting the EU to agree to an extension of the negotiations to allow for a new election or referendum that might unblock the parliamentary deadlock or 2) a no deal exit by default since the clock is ticking and there is an insufficient amount of votes in parliament to support any single alternative.

Yes, almost no parliamentarians are willing to vote for May’s current deal with the EU but there is zero agreement on what the alternative should be. Some members of parliament want to cancel Brexit, some want no deal, and others prefer a wide variation of alternative deals. Opinion is just too fragmented to get agreement on anything at all. Brexit could have been a great opportunity for the UK to refashion its economy in new exciting ways but the reality is that the nation is too riven with internecine political partisanship that it is unable to execute a “good” Brexit. Staying in the EU is far better than the mess Brexit has become.


New Brexit vote is the worst possible option for UK.

The deal May negotiated is totally incompetent so if it was put to a vote EU membership would win.

UK needs to do a Brexit and respect the people's original vote for Brexit aka LEAVE.

All the scare problems are made up regarding the no deal Brexit.

No deal Brexit would be just a WTO Brexit because UK and EU would trade on WTO terms and UK currently has as it's biggest trading partner a country called USA with which UK and EU trade on WTO rules.

Previously pre-WTO membership in EU was a much bigger deal but trade evolved and WTO came along and there is no huge issues.

Besides trade balance is EU exports more to UK than UK exports to EU.

The irish border issue is completely made up.

Who is going to come close that border if the UK decides they will keep it open. Ireland will also keep it open otherwise the current government in Ireland would be macronized by the Irish.

IT is quite unlikely Macron or juncker will come to close the Irish border...

Besides EU surrounds many small non-EU countries that are not in EU and not in ETA like Andorra, Liechtenstein and others and there are no borders between just lots of people driving to get duty free cigarettes and perfumes (at least from Andorra).

Also Switzerland has tens of different agreements with EU regarding different things and it works. There is no reason it could not work with UK and EU too.


This is called fishing in troubled waters while showing as if it is done as a favor to the UK. IMO, that is a nice try by the EU to create a civil war in the UK, which, as it is, is a divided house on Brexit and temperatures are running high.


May's goal, and the goal of a majority of both Parliaments after Brexit, was always to stay in the EU, not leave with a hard or soft Brexit. However, the Tory Bremainers needed a way to stay that didn't just ignore their Brexit voters from 2016- in other words, those Tories always needed a 2nd referendum, but they couldn't just call for another one in the last 30 months- they needed for the Brexit process to be made so awful that a 2nd referendum seemed like the only choice to move forward. They are close to that goal now, the court analysis was deliberately delayed until the exact moment it was needed, which is right now.

Sure, May's plan will be voted down- she never intended for it to pass. At some point after the Holidays, she will "reluctantly" ask Parliament to give a 2nd referendum to the people for "guidance". We already know what the plan of pro-EU MPs is- have 3 choices on the ballot- Hard Brexit, May Plan Brexit, and Remain- thus rigging the outcome by dividing the Brexit vote. When this happens, I hope the Brexit voters go to Parliament and raze the building to the ground.


You have laid it out well. But then politicians are not interested in doing what is right for their citizens though they will proffer to. Slimy characters one and all!


What everyone is ignoring is the fact that the UK government had no room to maneuver in negotiating a Brexit deal making the job of getting a good agreement impossible from day 1. Parliamentary support for the UK prime minister is so incredibly week she couldn’t afford to choose any negotiating position that would upset anyone without being forced out of power. This meant that she couldn’t take any firm stand on anything with the EU.

This is the real tragedy of Brexit. The country is too divided on the issue to even negotiate a successful exit from the EU. It’s all well and good for pundits to talk about how a good deal should be negotiated, but that’s only by ignoring the fragile coalition the prime minister has to keep together by not doing anything to offend anyone.

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