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    UK Parliament Rejects May's Withdrawal Deal, Prepares for Vote on No-Deal Brexit

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The UK House of Commons will vote on a potential no-deal Brexit later on Wednesday, after rejecting for the second time the government's withdrawal deal.

    Deal Defeated

    On Tuesday, the withdrawal deal that was agreed in November and several last-minute additions to it were rejected by 391 votes against 242. It marked a slight improvement on the historic 230-vote defeat the deal suffered in January.

    The European Union has made it clear that the ball would now be in the United Kingdom's court.

    "It is not for us to decide anything. We would very much like the Brits to show that they have a majority FOR something! We won’t accept an extension of the Brexit delay for nothing. We need to see a plan. We should have a plan," Philippe Lamberts, a Belgian member of the European Parliament, told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: EU Will Only Accept 'Credible' Reason For Delaying Brexit, Donald Tusk Says

    No-Deal Debates

    The no-deal motion reads "that this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement."

    READ MORE: London's No-Deal Tariff Plan 'Sledgehammer' for UK Economy — Business Industry

    If the House of Commons votes for a no-deal option, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on March 29 without any transition or an agreement. A no-deal Brexit would mean customs formalities for imports and exports, including paperwork and tariffs. The government warned in February that many UK businesses trading with the European Union were not prepared for a no-deal Brexit.

    The government has made several preparations for a no-deal scenario. It plans to temporarily remove tariffs on 87 percent of the imports. The goods crossing the Irish border would be exempt from the 13 percent of the remaining duties as well. In addition, these goods would not be subject to checks.

    "Business will, of course, get angry about the government's inability to lead. I suggest business leaders plan for a no deal and get on with business," a member of the European Parliament from the United Kingdom Janice Atkinson told Sputnik.

    Amendments

    Several lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) tabled an amendment on Brexit extension until May 22. The amendment urges the government to conclude "standstill agreements' with the European Union to last until at least December 21, 2021. During that transition, the United Kingdom would pay the sum equivalent to its net EU contributions.

    Amendment A which also brings together lawmakers from different parties, calls on the government to rule out a no-deal exit. Amendment B urges the government to reverse Brexit. Amendment C calls on the government to extend Brexit and hold a referendum on with remaining an EU member as one of the options.

    READ MORE: EU to Put Tariffs on UK Goods If No-Deal Brexit While London Plans to Cut Duties

    If a no-deal option is rejected, the House of Commons will vote on Thursday on a potential extension of Brexit. If that motion passed, the UK government would have to ask the European Union for the extension. The European Union has indicated it might agree to a delay, but only if the United Kingdom was able to justify it.

    Michel Liegeois, a political analyst and professor at the University of Louvain, believes that the second referendum is possible, but so are general elections.

    "Will there be a second referendum? That is possible. The question then will be different from the first referendum… leave with no deal, remain in the EU and options in-between … Will there be elections? Very possible, but nobody knows now," Liegeois told Sputnik.

    Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier on Wednesday that she would vote against a no-deal Brexit. It remains to be seen how many lawmakers will vote with her.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    no-deal Brexit, Brexit, European Union, United Kingdom
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