On Monday the Brexit bill returns to the House of Commons, the U.K.’s lower house, for debate after the House of Lords said it wanted guarantees that EU citizens living in the U.K. could stay after Brexit and that Parliament could vote on the final terms. The final bill must be approved by both houses. Should the bill pass Monday, the government could invoke Article 50 as early as Tuesday according to weekend press reports, but negotiations in Parliament could last several days. The Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, told Sky News he expects the government to trigger it on Wednesday or Thursday.
Even if the House of Commons votes in favor of the amendments, May is expected to keep her timetable of triggering by the end of the month. But it would underline how small her majority is in the lower house. Complicating matters is a tweet moments ago by BBG political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who reported that Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon will give May an ultimatum: give Scotland a different Brexit deal or she’ll call for section 30, the indyref process.
“Indyref” is short for “independence referendum.” In other words, a repeat of the failed 2014 vote on Scottish independence. And with European Union membership on the line, the Scots might just disunite the Kingdom, given a second chance.
And that would be that for Labour ever hoping to win a majority in the British Parliament any time soon.
UPDATE: It’s official — “Scotland’s leader seeks new independence referendum.”