The pro Brexit vote margin in the UK parliament, 461 to 89, was huge, makes the 52-48 ref result more than pale in comparison. Folks, it's effectively a done deal now, the pro EU MPs did a u-turn for reasons they know, and the result is a huge go ahead for May's Brexit. For reasons of her own, she has interpreted the ref result as a hard Brexit mandate.
Whereas the vote was technically on the Brexit timetable and the official MPs' vote is still forthcoming, it is now clear that Labour does not plan to oppose Brexit. And that means a landslide pro Brexit vote by the MPs.
Remember that the next UK GE is in 2020 when Brexit will be complete by then, thus even a potential massive vote for the LibDems in the GE won't change anything (except maybe for a new application to join the EU!).
That's it folks. It's divorce. The MPs' vote has actually broken the bond, the ref did not. Does anyone really think that if the deal is not good enough there can a return to the before status? No, not after a 461 to 89 decision by the MPs last night. Too big, especially by an allegedly pro EU parliament. Too many negative implications from this vote. For one, Labour has turned, pressured by electoral motives. Historians may judge this stance. The LibDems voted against Brexit but due to their size in this parliament they did not matter. They have made strategic mistakes too and so has the pro EU camp in the UK. But that's all history now.
A very sad day for many sides.
Of course divorce will be clean and there will be no Single Market access w/o free movement, the best the UK can hope for is a Canada type of deal, but 5-7 yrs from when the negotiations start, they are not officially part of the Article 50 negotiations, only admin issues for the divorce are. Til then WTO rules trade will govern UK-EU after Brexit.
Plus I am of the opinion that once Art 50 is triggered, no turning back. It will be same parliament in 2019 after all, when the two years are up.
My heart goes out to:
a) EU nationals in the UK now, they are in limbo
b) Britons in the EU27, they are in limbo too
c) EU nationals who might have wanted to move to the UK in the future
d) UK nationals who might have wanted to live in the EU27.
It should be said though that the EU as a union will be stronger w/o the UK, the UK should have been asked to leave the EU at Maastricht in 1991, to be honest. A lesson to be learned.
I am clearly no enemy of the UK but the UK has been an enemy of the EU for too long. Always a whining spouse. Things got better when Blair was PM but I sort of knew there was trouble when in the 2010 election campaign Gordon Brown did not debate with the voter who complained about Polish immigrants. He did say a word or two about it only when back in his car when he thought no one was listening. When Cameron committed to the referendum, I think it was in 2012 when I was actually near Liverpool, I sort of knew Brexit was a possibility.
Well, time for the EU to move on and for Article 50 talks to start in March.
Adieu Grande Bretagne.
Some Britons get irritated when you point these things out. They think or hope that without the UK the EU will break up. That's sinister. They wanted out, they are getting it so they should start minding their own business. Farage did manage to affect the Austrian vote by claiming that Hofer would ask for a ref if elected! Serves him right, to be honest. As I have claimed before, the EU can actually afford to lose a few members, since it now has 27 (28 minus the UK) and some 465 mio citizens.
Time to move on.