European Commission Regrets UK Parliament's Brexit Vote Outcome - Statement

© REUTERS / Yves LoggheThe headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium
The headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK parliament on Tuesday rejected for the second time UK Prime Minister Theresa May's updated Brexit plan by 391 votes to 242.

European Commission said Tuesday that the results of the vote on the revised Brexit deal were regrettable, adding that the EU had exhausted all means to help the United Kingdom ratify the divorce agreement.

EU Chief Negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier said Tuesday that the EU has done everything it could to advance the treaty on the conditions for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the bloc.

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"The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our 'no-deal' preparations are now more important than ever before", he wrote on Twitter.

In her statement to the UK parliament after the vote, May said there would be a debate and a vote on the so-called no-deal scenario on Wednesday, stressing that this was the matter of profound importance. If that is rejected as well, a vote on extending the Article 50 period will be held on Thursday. At the moment, the United Kingdom is expected to leave the bloc on 29 March.

READ MORE: UK Parliament Rejects May's Latest Brexit Plan

In January, UK lawmakers rejected the existing version of the UK-EU Brexit deal, citing fears that the United Kingdom might remain in a permanent customs union with the bloc should the backstop policy, aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, remain in its current form.

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On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed three changes to the Brexit deal. A "joint legally binding instrument" that will be added to the agreement states that the European Union may be found in breach of its commitments if it tries to keep the United Kingdom in the backstop. Another document lays out commitments to developing new technology at the border, while the third one says that the United Kingdom might be able to "disapply" backstop if the European Union did not act in good faith.

Following the talks in Strasbourg with Jean-Claude Juncker, May said she had obtained "legally binding" assurances that any backstop would remain temporary until a suitable UK/EU trade deal could be negotiated.

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Juncker stressed at a late-night press conference on Monday that there would be no third chance if UK lawmakers voted against the tweaked deal on Tuesday.

With the deadline for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union approaching, tensions among UK nationals and policy makers are reportedly running high, as no exit deal has been secured and the country risks to leave the bloc without a comprehensive system of tax regulations in place.

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