How Brexit week could play out: Votes, deals and elections

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Construction site

Opponents of Brexit fear it will make Britain poorer and divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional United States presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

In an extremely unusual move, Chief Whip Julian Smith, whose job is to ensure that Conservative Party lawmakers vote for government-backed policies, told the BBC the government should have told people they would have to accept a softer form of leaving the European Union after May lost her majority in the 2017 general election.

Many in May's party, though, have lost patience. But living with her reputation of an uncompromising stubborn leader, she is still considering bringing her deal back to parliament for the fourth time. But there're no signs yet she will succeed.

Northern Ireland's DUP - which has propped up Mrs May's minority government - also continues to oppose the deal.

"We would end up with a Ramsay MacDonald-esque government where we would be completely at odds with our own party", referring to the first-ever Labour prime minister - who ultimately ended up having to govern with on behalf of the Tories, after losing the support of his own backbenchers.

If the impasse continues, Britain will crash out of the European Union on April 12 without any deal creating chaos likely to seriously harm the country's businesses and the economy.

Mrs May's deal was rejected for a third time on Friday.

The government must now make a new request to the European Union at an extraordinary summit on April 10 or leave the bloc without a deal on April 12 with potentially chaotic economic consequences.

May, however, is under pressure from pro-Brexit members of her government not to tack toward a softer Brexit. For them Brexit means a clear break up of ties with the EU. The common man in Britain is fed up and wants the Brexit issue to be resolved soon so that other important issues are addressed.

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Former education secretary Nicky Morgan suggested a cross-party solution a day after the House of Commons rebuffed the Prime Minister's call for members to "put aside self and party", sending her Brexit deal to its latest defeat. But Britain has a fixed term parliament law and an election can only be called if it's approved by a two-third majority.

And even if the Tories were willing to risk an election, Mrs May could not conceivably lead the party into it, resulting in an unseemly scramble to find a new - and inevitably untested - leader. No wonder, the party wants to replace May as leader before any election. Both May's Conservatives and the opposition Labour party are split between those who want to sever links to the European Union and those who want to remain close to the bloc.

"In any other circumstance, they would have rolled her by now, either formally or informally", said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.

The alternative to a "no-deal" departure is to delay Brexit for at least several months, and possibly more than a year, while Britain sorts out the mess.

However, there appears to be momentum behind a plan to seek a deal that would see Britain stay in some kind of customs union with the European Union. Some have not done any substantive planning for a no-deal Brexit.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on 30 March.

In normal circumstances, this would be considered a heavy, possibly resignation-worthy defeat for a sitting Government, but in the current climate it is being interpreted nearly in a positive light, with a Downing Street spokesman noting optimistically: "We are at least going in the right direction".

From the Conservative side, some Indians may not be comfortable with a potential leadership candidate, the current Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, because of his Pakistani origin.

May has said repeatedly she does not believe Parliament would allow a no-deal Brexit to happen. No one has an answer.

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