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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.
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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