The House of Commons sessions took a dramatic turn on 29 March, when British MPs rejected the PM's Withdrawal Agreement with 344 votes against and 286 votes backing the deal.
After the decision was announced, Theresa May said that Brexit solutions need to be found by 12 April.
GOVERNMENT DEFEAT: The House of Commons has voted not to approve the Government's #WithdrawalAgreement with the EU.— UK House of Commons (@HouseofCommons) March 29, 2019
344 MPs voted against the Government motion, with 286 in favour — a majority of 58. pic.twitter.com/jaeunVghPa
The PM admitted that the UK Parliament was "reaching the limits of this process", but despite its rejection of the no-deal scenario and "all variations" of the deal, Monday will see the government pressing on with the negotiations.
The European Council President Donald Tusk responded to the outcome of the vote, saying:
"In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April."
In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April. #Brexit— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 29, 2019
"The Commission regrets the negative vote in the House of Commons today," a spokesman said, adding that the EU has given London until April 12 to inform it of the next steps. "It will be for the UK to indicate the way forward before that date," the EU Commission said.
"A 'no-deal' scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU… is now fully prepared for a 'no-deal' scenario at midnight on 12 April," it added.
"No-deal” scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU has been preparing for this since 12/2017. Now fully prepared. We will remain united. Benefits of WA, including transition period, will not be replicated in “no-deal” scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option. pic.twitter.com/JJndIjMtTy— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 29, 2019
The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday that the risk of Britain crashing out of the EU was 'very real' after Westminster rejected the Withdrawal Agreement.
"The risk of a no-deal Brexit is very real. One of the two routes to an orderly Brexit seems now to be closed. This leaves only the other route, which is for the British to make clear what they want before April 12," Rutte told reporters.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned of the growing risk of a disruptive no-deal Brexit:
"Ireland has been preparing intensively for a No Deal scenario. But no one should under-estimate the difficulties that a No Deal will present, for all of us, including the UK. It is not clear that the UK has fully understood that No Deal is not off the agenda. Rather, it's a growing possibility," Varadkar said.
He added that in case Westminster decides to seek a long extension, the European Union should be open to such a development.
Leader of the opposition, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, and SNP MP Ian Blackford have called for May's resignation.
"The Prime Minister should accept that her deal has been defeated three times… Quite simply, the Prime Minister has failed to take this deal forward. She doesn't have the confidence of the House. The PM has indicated her departure. She should now go and we should be having a general election," Blackford said.
Parliament has the chance and responsibility to agree a better deal for all the people of this country. pic.twitter.com/DFnofzdwl0— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 29, 2019
Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Brexiteer Conservatives, also called for the PM's resignation.
"This must be the final defeat for Theresa May's deal. It's finished. And we must move on. It has not passed. It will not pass. I regret to say it is time for Theresa May to follow through on her words and make way so that a new leader can deliver a withdrawal agreement which will be passed by Parliament."
UK Transport Minister Chris Grayling disagreed, arguing "the last thing this country needs is a general election," adding it would not help to have an immediate leadership contest.
"Today's vote is one MPs will come to regret," says Chris Grayling, adding a General Election would bring chaos pic.twitter.com/5ZzYmtfM5t— BrexitCentral (@BrexitCentral) March 29, 2019
Earlier this week, Theresa May said in her speech to the 1922 Committee meeting of Conservative lawmakers, that if her deal received the MPs' backing, she would leave the post of the PM.
On Friday, May's spokesman said that the PM didn't believe a general election was in the national interest.
May seeks a deal that allows UK to leave EU as soon as possible, and Monday will show more in terms of indicative votes, the spokesman added.
It may also be the case that the UK will contest European elections, scheduled for end of May, according to Theresa May's spokesperson.
- If by 23.00 GMT on 12 April the UK doesn't ask for another postponement of Brexit, it will leave the European bloc without a deal. A no-deal Brexit has been rejected as an option by the UK Parliament during indicative votes and largely opposed by businesses, economists and politicians on both sides of the English Channel. © REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
- As suggested by the Irish PM, a longer extension request by the UK could see generous response from the European Union. Granting such delay would likely require the UK to partake in European elections end of May. An extension would give the government and MPs time to suggest and approve an altered Brexit deal, which would possibly include a customs union pledge as part of the Withdrawal Agreement.
- Theresa May's repeated failure to secure the Parliament's support could see the PM resign and a general election take place for the third time in the past four years. A total political reshuffle could end the political deadlock in the Parliament and finally see a Brexit deal backed by a majority of MPs.
- Finally, there is also the option of a second Brexit referendum, so far ruled out by the government, but supported by many opposition MPs