The UK Prime Minister has spent the last few days in talks with lawmakers from all parties trying to break the stalemate on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union – with the notable exception of the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. 19659002] So far, those talks have resulted in a little change to her Brexit plan. But, having promised to unveil in Plan B, the PM insisted some progress had been made.
In the most headline grabbing of announcements, May announced that the controversial registration fee for EU citizens living in the UK and wanting to remain after Brexit would be waived
Lawmakers who support these demands will now do everything they can try to get a Commons vote on these proposals.
The Prime Minister insisted she believed "we can make progress on the substance of the deal."
A restatement of Plan A, with some assurances
Yet, with 67 days to go to Britain is due to leave the EU rapidly running out.
Crucially, what May duty MPs in her statement hardly amounts to a Plan B, a reshaped Brexit plan that can go back to Brussels for renegotiation. They are, effectively, a restatement of her Plan A with some reinsurance that the Northern Ireland issue will have some points resolved
For everyone watching the ticking clock in Westminster, May's statement was an extraordinary exercise in refusing to change course.
Amid all of this, the procedures of Parliament and the EU mean The clock is down faster than ever.
There are still more in-depth talks to be had between the PM, her ministers and lawmakers in the coming days.
Next Tuesday, January 29, lawmakers will vote on a series of amendments to indicate what kind of Brexit they want to see. But it will not be "meaningful" on the scale of the vote last week – which is unlikely until February – but an opportunity for alternative plans to be voted on by lawmakers.
No deal the 'most likely outcome '
Given that anything changed or agreed by the UK parliament will need to go back to Brussels for approval, there is unlikely to be meaningful progress on Brexit until mid-February at the earliest. At that point, it will be just about a month to go until the Brexit deadline of March 29.
If a deal has not been agreed at both Brussels and UK parliament by then, the country crashes out of the EU without a deal
This no deal scenario is, according to leading Brexiteer and Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg on Monday, now the most likely outcome of the Brexit process.
The government and UK businesses are spending a lot of money and effort preparing for a no deal. Yet in her statement May claimed that explicitly ruling out no deal would mean revoking Article 50, the measure that set the timetable for Brexit, and in this would mean the UK staying in the EU forever – a claim that will be greeted with skepticism by constitutional experts. She also warned that a second referendum would risk damaging "social cohesion" in the country.
With time running out, May's Brexit plan is back to square one.