It was obvious it would not pass, but the margin is staggering. Only 202 MPs voted for it and 432 against. Over a third of Conservative MPs voted no.
The next step is a no confidence vote in Theresa May. It is expected she will survive it as there is a difference between rejecting her deal and voting for a snap election which could see Corbyn become PM.
Options going forward are:
- No Brexit. Very unlikely as Parliament has voted to Brexit and to vote to cancel Brexit in the face of a referendum result would be suicidal
- 2nd Brexit referendum – the hope of the Remain lobby. Almost impossible to occur before 29 March so only a possiblity if Brexit is delayed
- Brexit no deal – the default option and now more likely
- A Brexit delay – possible but opposed by May and many pro-Brexit MPs.
- New negotiations with the EU – May needs to work out what sort of deal could get a majority in Parliament and then see if EU can accept it as better than no deal. Likely to need a delay.
But really no-one knows how this will play out. Fascinating times.