LONDON — The decision to delay Brexit until, potentially, October 31 temporarily lowered the temperature of the U.K.’s exit crisis.
But while MPs’ Easter break will likely see the issue put on the backburner for a few days, the House of Commons drama will ramp up again as soon as they are back in Westminster April 23.
Meanwhile, U.K. political parties are making last-minute preparations for a European election they never expected to take part in, and which Prime Minister Theresa May is still hoping — perhaps optimistically — to avoid by somehow passing a Brexit deal between now and May 22.
Here’s how the next few months of the tortuous Brexit process are likely to play out.
Now until April 23: Easter recess
Now on Easter break, the House of Commons will not sit again until Tuesday April 23.
In the meantime Government officials have indicated that talks with the Labour Party will continue.
The aim of the talks is to find either a compromise proposal on the post-Brexit future relationship to put to the House of Commons or, failing that, to agree on a short list of potential future relationship options to put to the Commons. Unlike the indicative votes held last month, these votes would be binding.
This latter scenario would require a pledge from both the government and Labour front benches to abide by the decision of the house if one of the options gets a majority.
Why is this important? Because the legislation implementing that decision — the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (known as the WAB) — will require a stable majority to complete its passage through parliament.