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The Debate

Her way or the highway? Theresa May pits 'people' against parliament

European leaders in Brussels have granted Theresa May a Brexit delay, albeit shorter than the three months she requested. May 22, the eve of the European elections, is the date suggested by the European Council. But there's a big if: if the UK parliament finally decides on what it wants. But can the prime minister convince enough MPs to agree to a divorce deal they've roundly rejected twice?

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A third vote to avoid a no-deal Brexit could come as early as next Monday. In a rabble-rousing speech ahead of the summit, May pitted the people against a parliament that she says has proven its inability to seize the initiative on a compromise. We'll know soon enough if May's gamble of running down the clock can pay off, if enough lawmakers can be pressured into choosing her deal over no deal.

And if not, then we're really into unchartered territory, with a discredited prime minister who under Conservative Party rules is safe until December from a leadership challenge and a divided opposition that may or may not try to trigger a snap general election. What surprise can we expect?

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Ingri BERGO and James VASINA.

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