Speed Reads

brexit chaos

Britain just had a dramatic, monumental day in Parliament. What happens with Brexit now?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to play hardball — or the cricket equivalent — with Parliament, and Parliament won Tuesday's at-bat. So what just happened in Britain and what happens next?

What happened Tuesday?
It was high drama in the House of Commons, capped by a 328-301 vote to seize control of the Brexit process from Johnson's government. Johnson also lost his working majority in Parliament then expelled Sir Winston Churchill's grandson and 20 other Tory members of Parliament from the Conservative Party for voting against him — some found out by text message.

What happens next?
Johnson's "defeat leaves the course of Brexit unresolved, with possible outcomes still ranging from a turbulent 'no-deal' exit to abandoning the whole endeavor," Reuters reports. The lower house of Parliament will vote Wednesday on a bill that would force Johnson to request a Brexit extension until January if he doesn't secure a Parliament-approved exit deal with the European Union before Oct. 31. Johnson said he won't request an extension and moved to hold snap elections, possibly on Oct. 15.

The opposition Labour Party said it won't back Johnson's election gambit, which requires a two-thirds majority, unless the bill preventing a no-deal Brexit passes both houses first. If the bill doesn't pass, Johnson will likely face a no-confidence vote. If the bill becomes law and the EU refuses another extension, Britain leaves will no deal.

What's Johnson case?
Johnson warned Tuesday that "Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels" before Oct. 31. But there are significant concerns that Johnson isn't seriously negotiating with the EU — his Brexit negotiation team is a quarter of the size of predecessor Theresa May's team, Sky News reports, and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings reportedly called the Brexit negotiations a "sham," though he denied saying that.

Johnson said the thrice-rejected exit deal May negotiated with the EU is "dead," and there appear to be irreconcilable differences over the Irish border. The EU will reiterate Wednesday that a no-deal divorce would hurt Britain's economy much more than the EU's.

How is Theresa May reacting?
Now a Tory backbencher, May voted with Johnson on Tuesday. She didn't appear crushed at her successor's familiar Brexit pain, though. Peter Weber

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