British Parliament on late Tuesday night rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time, plunging the UK into a state of uncertainty just two weeks ahead of the country’s divorce from the European Union.
The House of Commons voted against the deal by 391 votes to 242.
The lawmakers will now be given the opportunity on Wednesday to vote on whether to leave European Union (EU) without a deal and on Thursday on whether seek a delay to Brexit.
The UK government does not intend to collect customs duties or have any other controls at the Irish border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the BBC reported . The British government will rely on self-reporting by businesses and suggest an app-based system to record cross-border trading, the BBC reported. British lawmakers voted against Prime Minister May’s amended Brexit deal on Tuesday. They will now vote at 1900 GMT on Wednesday on whether Britain should quit the world’s biggest trading bloc without a deal.
“We hope naturally that in the coming 17 days we would still be able to avoid a disorderly exit,” Germany said in a statement. “But we must now wait and see how the political situation in Britain develops and must not speculate. The British lower house has it all in its own hands,” it added.
Britain is moving closer to crashing out of the European Union without a deal, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday, adding that both sides should now focus on defining their future relationship after Brexit.
Lawmakers voted against May’s amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute talks with EU chiefs on Monday to assuage her critics’ concerns ultimately proved fruitless. The vote puts the world’s fifth largest economy in uncharted territory with no obvious way forward; exiting the EU without a deal, delaying the March 29 divorce date, a snap election or even another referendum are all now possible.
Now that British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal for a second time, the country’s planned March 29 departure from the bloc is an open question. Lawmakers now have two starkly different choices: no deal or delay.
A spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk, representing EU governments, said Britain would have to provide a “credible justification” for any request to delay Brexit.
UK’s Scotland Minister David Mundell Says He Will Be Voting Against No Deal Brexit on Wednesday.
“There will be no third chance,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday. “There will be no further interpretations of the interpretations, no further assurances of the reassurances if the ‘meaningful vote’ tomorrow fails.”The government had been expected to offer parliament the chance to press for a short extension, but announced on Tuesday night that it would be for parliament to decide on the length of the delay that the government would request.
British Parliamen called for Brexit to be delayed until 1059 GMT on May 22, and for the government to offer to pay Brussels to strike standstill agreements with the EU lasting until no later than the end of 2021. The group of lawmakers included leading Conservative eurosceptic Steve Baker, Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Nigel Dodds and pro-EU Conservative Nicky Morgan, indicating a wide base of support.
A group of UK lawmakers set out plans on Tuesday to test whether parliament wants to implement an exit plan that would see Brexit delayed and mitigate the consequence of leaving without a deal by seeking ‘standstill arrangements’ with the EU. The so-called amendment could be voted upon on Wednesday when lawmakers discuss whether Britain’s parliament should approve leaving the European Union without a deal.
The British parliament’s rejection of the Brexit agreement makes crashing out of the EU without a deal much more likely, the bloc said Tuesday, as it warned there is no more it can do. Lawmakers inflicted another crushing defeat on beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May, voting to reject the divorce deal, even after she secured further guarantees from Brussels. Senior EU officials lined up to voice regret at the result, and to hammer home the message that Brussels would not make any further concessions to help May win over recalcitrant MPs.
Any request from the British government for a delay to its departure from the European Union must be supported by a “credible and convincing justification”, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday. “Should the UK hand in a reasoned request for an extension, I expect a credible and convincing justification,” Rutte tweeted after the British parliament overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement for a second time.
“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,” said Michel Barnier, chief EU negotiator as per Reuters.
Ireland’s foreign minister said he was disappointed at Britain’s parliament voting down a Brexit deal on Monday. “The predictions were consistent enough over the last few days that this would be a heavy defeat,” Simon Coveney told the BBC. “We now need to be patient and calm to allow this process in Westminster to take its course,” Reuters quoted her as saying.
In her address to the parliament after the defeat, May said she “profoundly regrets” MPs decision. May said she is conscious of the “potential damage” leaving the EU without a deal would do and the lawmakers now face “an unenviable choice” of what to do next. Declaring May’s Brexit deal as “dead”, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the government to adopt his proposals for a softer Brexit.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been defeated again by 391 votes to 242 – a majority of 149 votes.
UK Parliament begins voting on PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The result due in around 15 minutes. If rejected, they will then be given the opportunity on Wednesday to vote on whether to leave European Union (EU) without a deal and on Thursday on whether seek a delay to Brexit.
A majority of members of the European Research Group, a large eurosceptic faction in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, will vote against Prime Minister Theresa May’s exit deal later on Tuesday, a lawmaker in the group said.
Conservative Member of Parliament Simon Clarke said a clear majority would vote against the deal. A second lawmaker said most in the group were opposed to the Withdrawal Agreement.
May might even try a third time to get parliamentary support in the hope that hardline eurosceptic lawmakers in her Conservative Party, the most vocal critics of her withdrawal treaty, might change their minds if it becomes more likely that Britain might stay in the EU after all.
While she lost, the margin of defeat was smaller than the record 230-vote loss her deal suffered in January.
“If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost,” a hoarse-voiced May told lawmakers before her deal was defeated.
Sterling, which had earlier in the day fallen by two percent to $1.3005, was trading at around $1.3082 shortly after the vote.
Lawmakers are now due to vote on Wednesday on whether Britain should exit the world’s biggest trading bloc without a deal, a scenario that business leaders warn would bring chaos to markets and supply chains, and other critics say could cause shortages of food and medicines.
Supporters of Brexit argue that, while a “no-deal” divorce might bring some short-term instability, in the longer term it would allow the United Kingdom to thrive and forge beneficial trade deals across the world.
However, parliament is expected firmly to reject a “no-deal” Brexit as well, so on Thursday lawmakers would then vote on whether government should request a delay to the leaving date to allow further talks.
Source: Financial Express