Today was yet another blow to the hopes of hardliners and Brexit supporters in Great Britain that a graceful and stable exit from the European Union might come to pass. As an American, I really have no standing to say, "This is what you get for voting for bigotry and isolationism!!!" but as a progressive liberal Democrat, I do get to say to the Conservatives on this side of the pond, "How's it working over there in Europe, eh? Not so GREAT, is it?"
The Brexit vote in Parliament today was 391 - 242 against the deal cobbled together by Prime Minister Theresa May and E.U. bloc's chief negotiator, Michael Barnier.
According to The New York Times,
Unless Parliament takes some other action, Britain will leave the bloc on that date without a deal in place, which Brexit hardliners insist would be fine, but which most lawmakers and economists say would be disastrous.
Parliament is set to vote Wednesday on whether to reject the prospect of a “no-deal” Brexit, and to vote Thursday on whether to seek a postponement of the March 29 deadline.
The possibility of a "crash-out" or "no-deal" Brexit (leaving the E.U. bloc with no deal in place regarding trade, diplomacy, borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) would constitute a potential "critical incident" for Great Britain. They're stockpiling medicine and food in the event access to these things becomes difficult or impossible.
British Journalist Mehdi Hasan joined Ali Velshi to discuss the situation, characterizing it as "madness."
This has been going on for two years. Two years ago the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 to get out of the European Union after the referendum was won by the "Leave" side. TWO YEARS LATER we're now 17 days away from March 29, 11 p.m., Friday night, Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal. This is CRAZY. There's been nothing like it in my lifetime. And Europe's been tearing apart the Conservative party for decades, but I don't think anyone thought it would come to this, and Theresa May, I'm sure, didn't think it would come to this. She called an election in 2017 to try to help her negotiating position, she lost her majority. She lost her senior cabinet ministers, like Boris Johnson along the way. In January, as Bill mentioned, she lost, by the biggest margin of any government in modern British democratic history trying to get this deal passed. She tried again now. Plan B was to try again. Lost again. What is Plan C? She doesn't have one. I don't think the opposition has one. I don't think anyone has one.
One thing is for sure. Putin wanted to create chaos in Europe and the United States. So far, he has been the big winner in all of this.