AS Mary Poppins says in her new movie “everything is possible, even the impossible”. Theresa May will be holding on to that thought as MPs troop through the lobbies at around 7pm tonight to cast their meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. But it’s doubtful if even the Georgian supernanny, armed with a whole shovelful of sugar, could do anything to save May’s deal.

It’s now no longer a question of defeat, but a question of how big a defeat, and what happens next.

Scenario 1: Theresa May wins and her deal is approved

OK, so we know it’s not going to happen. But it is technically a possibility tomorrow. What happens if May wins after all? Well, then the hard work begins.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, released a letter yesterday, saying Brussels is ready to start trade negotiations as soon as Parliament passes the withdrawal agreement.

If May’s deal gets Parliament’s approval tonight, officials will likely be hoofing over the channel tomorrow morning to get cracking on what the relationship between Britain and the EU should be. But the Prime Minister will also likely need to ask Europe to extend Article 50. We’ve still got too much to do before we’re ready. There are six vital pieces of legislation still to get through the Commons.

Scenario 2: May loses, but not by that much

LAST week Parliament passed an amendment in the name of Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general for England and Wales.

It means the Prime Minister must come back to the House of Commons by next Monday at the latest to set out her plan B.

If she doesn’t lose by a three-figure margin then there is a possibility she can put the deal, with some little tweaks, some little changes, back in front of MPs.

She could also, effectively, run down the clock until the only choice facing Parliament is between her bill or a no-deal Brexit. In this scenario, May might even be able to secure some further assurances from Brussels – but this has proven beyond her so far.

And although it could risk splitting her party, May might offer compromises to win over Labour, including a commitment to remain in the customs union. Jeremy Corbyn has said he prefers a deal of some kind to a People’s Vote.

There’s also the possibility that MPs could take back a little bit more control of the Brexit process and hold a series of “indicative votes” to try and find out what there is a majority for in parliament. Would MPs prefer a Norway plus deal or no Brexit at all?

Scenario 3: May gets gubbed but stays on as PM – No Deal or Norway Plus?

THAT May’s deal is not worth voting for is just about the only thing a majority of MPs in Parliament can agree on right now. If she loses tonight then it could start a war between advocates of Norway Plus and a No-Deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister could make a choice between the closer relationship with the EU wanted by Labour, the SNP and some of her own MPs, and a no-deal Brexit.

If the UK can’t agree a position then that’s it we’re out and on own on March 29, following World Trade Organization terms on trade.

Expect prices to hike. The Irish border could become the latest frontier for the EU with customs and immigration controls.

Before we get to this point Article 50 could probably be extended, but it’s not clear how that would resolve anything in the medium term.

Scenario 4: May loses a vote of no confidence after a defeat

IN the immediate aftermath of any defeat, all eyes will be on Corbyn. He is to table a vote of no confidence minutes after the result if the deal is rejected, according to the Telegraph. Labour whips have told MPs to be ready for a vote tomorrow, with Corbyn preparing to raise a point of order within minutes of the result being confirmed tonight. If Labour call a no confidence vote and May is defeated the Tories would have 14 days to try to form another government. Labour believe this would lead to an early General Election.

Scenario 5: People’s Vote

IF Corbyn calls the vote, and it’s not successful and the Tories survives, then Labour say they would throw their weight behind a second referendum. Given that the SNP, the LibDems and a sizeable number of Tory MPs all want this, then it may have enough support in Parliament to happen.

Though it’s a not a quick process, with most estimates saying the UK needs to 22 weeks to agree on the question, the franchise and the campaign. The earliest we could have it now would be around mid-June.


AND what does all this mean for a second independence referendum? In her conference speech last year, Nicola Sturgeon promised to update Scots on the timing of that vote once the “fog of Brexit” had lifted.

Scotland could be stuck in that fog for a while yet.