Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal is defeated in parliament

Theresa May will warn that Brexit might not happen if her deal is voted down Theresa May will warn that Brexit might not happen if her deal is voted down
Russell Knight | 16 January, 2019, 05:39

The spokesman added that the Government was "quite clearly unable to govern", and said the "unprecedented" scale of the defeat made clear that "no amount of tweaking or talks on the detail are going to change that". And if, as happened before Christmas, the official opposition decline to do so, we will - on this occasion - consider making time tomorrow to debate any motion in the form required from the other opposition parties, should they put one forward.

It is the first time the procedure has been used under the provisions of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act passed by the coalition government under David Cameron.

All signs point to it receiving a resounding thumbs-down from Parliament, a development that would throw British politics further into turmoil, just 10 weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29.

"Nothing has fundamentally changed", said Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Northern Irish party on whom May relies for her Commons majority.

May's government has until Monday to successfully pass a "Plan B" for a smooth Brexit.

"We want to identify what would be required to secure the backing of the House consistent with what we believe to be the result of the referendum", the spokesman said.

"It is clear that the house does not support this deal but tonight's vote tells us nothing about what it does support", Mrs May said.

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But with no clear majority in Parliament for any single alternate course, there is a growing chance that Britain may seek to postpone its departure date while politicians work on a new plan - or even hand the decision back to voters in a new referendum on European Union membership.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker - who returned to Brussels late Tuesday to deal with fallout from the vote - said the rejection of May's deal had increased "the risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom".

As lawmakers debated in the House of Commons chamber, outside there was a cacophony of chants, drums and music from rival bands of pro-EU and pro-Brexit protesters. But the final result was much worse for May than many had predicted: In the end, 118 Conservative members of Parliament voted with all opposition members against the deal, which was defeated by a vote of 432 to 202.

"Tonight we can choose certainty over uncertainty, we can choose unity over division, we can choose to deliver on our promise to the British people, not break that promise and endanger trust in politics for a generation".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has unloaded on Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn, accusing her left-wing opponent of shirking his responsibility as opposition leader and flip-flopping on key issues.

"She should call an immediate General Election".

After Mrs May's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was voted down by 230 MPs, the conservative leader pledged to listen to the concerns of MPs. Finance minister Philip Hammond, business minister Greg Clark and Brexit minister Stephen Barclay were due to hold a conference call with business leaders at 9am (NZT) two sources told Reuters. His party, however, is also internally divided about whether to continue with Brexit in some fashion or seek to reverse the process with a new national referendum.

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