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Theresa May’s Brexit plan isn’t dead yet

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LONDON - The poet Rupert Brooke voiced the exhilaration of those Britons who welcomed the war in 1914 as a chance to escape monotonous normality, “as swimmers into cleanness leaping.” They got four years mired in Flanders’ mud.

In a 2016 referendum, Britons voted, 52 percent to 48 percent, for the exhilaration of emancipation from the European Union’s gray bureaucratic conformities. They thereby leapt into a quagmire of negotiations with an EU determined to make separation sufficiently painful to discourage other nations from considering it.

On Tuesday, Parliament emphatically rejected the terms of separation that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU. So, there is no majority, in Parliament or the country, for anything other than, perhaps, a second referendum, which might be impossible to organize before the March 29 deadline for leaving the EU — although the EU might extend the deadline, hoping for a British reversal.

Another democracy recently rethought something momentous. On Sept. 29, 2008, with the U.S. financial system nearing collapse, the House of Representatives voted 228 to 205 against the George W. Bush administration’s bailout plan. The Dow promptly plunged 7 percent (777 points off 11,143) and four days later the House reversed itself, 263 to........

© The Japan Times