The British Parliament once again rejected the Brexit deal and caused another embarrassment for PM May. PM may move the amended Brexit deal in the parliament for voting. But overwhelming majority of British MPs once again voted against the deal. 391 MPs voted against the deal while 242 MPs voted in favour of the deal. So with the clear majority of 149 MPs rejected the deal, even after May secured further guarantees from Brussels over its most controversial elements and clauses.
This defeat will cause more headaches to PM May as only 17 days left to meet the March 29 deadline to leave EU. The move risks unleashing economic chaos, as Britain is scheduled to end ties with its biggest trade partner after 46 years on March 29, no matter what. She tried her best to convince the MPs to approve the deal to avoid economic shock of leaving without an agreement. But she also warned Euro sceptic MPs, many of whom have campaigned to leave the EU for their whole careers, that if her deal failed, so might Brexit.
PM May now looking for a no deal option and has promised to allow MPs to vote on a “no deal” option on Wednesday and if that is rejected, to decide on Thursday whether to ask the EU to delay Brexit. “If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost,” she said before the vote. However, euro sceptics believe the deal is so bad it is worth the risk of leaving with no plan.
Former foreign minister Boris Johnson made it clear that “We must take what now seems to be the more difficult route but in the end the one that preserves our self-respect. “It is to leave on March 29 as required by law and to become once again an independent country able to make our own choices.” Boris is favourite to succeed May if she steps down.
May tried to satisfy the MPs and give assurances to them on key issues. She also tried to convince the EU leadership to give more concessions on Irish border and customs union. But all this failed to convince the MPs. It did not take long for Brexit-supporting MPs in May´s Conservative party, and her allies, Northern Ireland´s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to declare their opposition.
Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also urged parliament to vote down May´s plan. “After three months of running down the clock, the prime minister has, despite very extensive delays, achieved not a single change to the withdrawal agreement,” he said.
The pound, which has been highly volatile since the 2016 referendum which saw Britons narrowly vote to leave the EU, fell sharply on Tuesday as it became increasingly clear the deal would be defeated.
There will be no third chance,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said after his talks on Monday with May. If MPs vote against a “no deal” exit on Wednesday, and want to postpone Brexit, the other 27 EU nations would need to agree.
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23 March, 2019