Parliament has spoken, and its message is clear — it does not want to take responsibility for making any viable Brexit choice:
Britain’s Parliament on Monday failed to reach a majority on any one of four new proposals for the country’s exit from the European Union, worsening the disarray over Brexit less than two weeks before the deadline to depart.
The votes on Monday were part of a remarkable power grab by lawmakers, frustrated by Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to forge consensus around Brexit, as the process of extricating Britain from the European Union is known, and alarmed that the country could face a disorderly, economically damaging departure without any kind of deal by the deadline of April 12.
In the votes, which were nonbinding, lawmakers considered four plans. The failure to agree on any of them means Britain is facing the deadline with nothing resolved and all the options remaining on the table.
Look. all the critical marginal votes want is a Brexit that will provide all the advantages and none of the liabilities of union, and only Theresa May is standing in the way of a unicorn farm.
Meanwhile, it’s already been a disaster:
Nearly three years of uncertainty since the June 2016 referendum has forced companies to plan for the worst — the prospect that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal governing future relations. The twisting road to Brexit has already slowed economic growth, discouraged investment and damaged the reputation of the nation as a haven for commerce.
Global banks and other financial services companies are steadily shifting thousands of jobs and more than $1 trillion in assets to European cities to ensure that they are able to serve customers across the English Channel regardless of the rules that national regulators impose after Brexit.
Japanese automakers have scrapped plans to expand in Britain, in part because Brexit undermines the country’s virtues as a hub for European trade.
The impact will probably fall heavily on areas that need investment the most: manufacturing-dependent communities in the north of England and Wales, where jobs and living standards have declined. Such areas mostly voted to leave Europe, as people blamed globalization and immigration for diminishing opportunities. Now, they stand to suffer even leaner times.
“There needs to be a cadre of new businesses being developed in the north of England that operate in high value-added sectors like technology,” said Robert Huggins, a professor of economic geography at Cardiff University in Wales. “But with Brexit and the potential difficulties, these businesses are going to be stifled. They are not going to be able to develop their potential. It’s unbelievable.”