Listen Live
    A Pro-Brexit protester demonstrates outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, March 29, 2019.

    UK Lawmakers Reject Theresa May's Brexit Deal for Third Time

    © REUTERS / Dylan Martinez
    Europe
    Get short URL
    6251
    Subscribe

    Following the vote on Friday, the UK PM Theresa May addressed the parliamentarians, stressing that the government will continue to press the case for an orderly Brexit.

    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.

    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. 

    EU Reaction

    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."

    "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.     

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, greets British Prime Minister Theresa May during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
    © AP Photo / Alastair Grant
    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, greets British Prime Minister Theresa May during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

    "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.   

    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.

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte for a bilateral talks at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
    © AP Photo / Frank Augstein
    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte for a bilateral talks at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

    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. 

    EU Council President Donald Tusk and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar give statements after a meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2019.
    © REUTERS / Yves Herman
    EU Council President Donald Tusk and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar give statements after a meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2019.

    Resignation Talks

    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.

    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.

    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. 

    What Now?

    • 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. 
    • 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    

    Related:

    Kim Kardashian's Marriage and 5 Other Things That Brexit Outlasted
    WATCH Protesters Rally Against Delay of Brexit Process in London
    "F*ck Knows" Why Theresa May Holding 3d Brexit Vote - Cabinet Minister Quoted
    Tags:
    Brexit
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik