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Analysts at TD Securities note that on Tuesday evening, the UK government’s new Withdrawal Agreement Bill was put to Parliament to vote on for its first time (the “second reading”), which passed with 329 in favour versus 299 against.

Key Quotes

“This was the first time that Parliament has actually had a majority for any form of Brexit. Although it admittedly doesn’t represent as much progress as it first appears, as many MPs voted in favour of the Bill only with an eye to supporting an amendment to change the Bill before the third reading. However, the government’s plan to push the WAB through Parliament on an accelerated schedule, in order to deliver Brexit by 31 October, was scuppered when Parliament voted against a proposed timetable for the week (with the 3rd reading planned for Thursday evening) with 308 in favour and 322 against. While earlier in the day, the media was reporting that the government would call an election if the timetable were voted down, the government seemed to change its mind on that one and then later on the idea of a 10 day extension was floated.”

“Boris Johnson was still taking a very hardline tone in Parliament after the timetable was voted down, repeating that the UK would leave the EU on 31 October and talking about accelerating no-deal Brexit preparations, and shelving the Bill for now until after talking to EU leaders. So now we wait until the PM makes his decision on the next steps and reports back to Parliament to find out whether we’re going to face a short extension or an immediate general election.”