No-deal Brexit rejected in UK Parlaiment

No-deal Brexit rejected in UK Parlaiment
UK Prime Minister Theresa May. PHOTO| COURTESY

British lawmakers have voted against a no-deal Brexit, amid fears it could lead to economic turmoil and stoke long-simmering tensions in Northern Ireland.

The result paves the way for a vote on Thursday on whether to delay the divorce process beyond the March 29 deadline.

Lawmakers voted 321 votes to 278, backing an amended version of Prime Minister Theresa May’s motion on Wednesday that “rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement.”

The vote is only indicative. The default is that in the absence of a deal, Britain crashes out of the EU on March 29.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated to MPs that while they have voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, it remains the default option if the UK cannot reach a deal with the EU.

“The legal default in EU and UK law is that the UK will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed,” May said. “The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.”

May added that lawmakers will have the chance to vote on Thursday over whether to request an extension to Article 50.

The Prime Minister said if MPs can support a deal “in the coming days,” it will allow the government to seek a short delay to Brexit. However, if parliament cannot agree upon a deal May has warned that the delay will have to be longer.

“Such an extension would undoubtedly require the UK to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019,” May said. “I do not think that would be the right outcome. But the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has taken.”


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