Some have been asking the question for weeks: if the UK public aren’t allowed a second referendum on Brexit, why is Theresa May able to keep putting her withdrawal agreement to parliament, despite the fact that MPs have twice voted it down? Turns out she can’t. House of Commons speaker John Bercow ruled this week that May isn’t able to put the same plan to yet another vote without first making substantial changes to it, potentially scuppering her attempts to browbeat MPs into supporting it as the Brexit deadline looms.
So May has been stonewalled. Yesterday a spokesman for the prime minister confirmed that she would write to Donald Tusk and request an extension before the EU Council Summit on Thursday. Could that eventually lead to a second referendum on the issue? Predicting anything related to Brexit would be as foolish as trying to leave the EU without a deal but advocates of the UK remaining within the bloc are hopeful. After all – unlike May’s course of action – much has changed since the vote of 2016, including many people’s grasp of the stakes and what the UK stands to lose.