Theresa May’s Brexit plan rejected by British parliament

Theresa May’s Brexit plan rejected by British parliament
The Brexit deal, painstakingly agreed upon with the EU by PM Theresa May last year, has ultimately flopped, as MPs said a firm no. The failure brings even more uncertainty to the fate of May’s cabinet and the whole Brexit process.

UK parliament voted down May’s Brexit plan on Tuesday by 432 votes to 202 – a margin of 230 – following lengthy debates on the matter. The vote was originally set to be held in mid-December, but was postponed amid fears that MPs would reject the unpopular deal between May and Brussels.

The delay failed to prompt any meaningful changes to aid the PM's cause, as it was ultimately rejected by parliament. The development comes just 10 weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU, bringing even more uncertainty to the already turbulent Brexit process.

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Responding to the resounding defeat, May promised that her government "respects the will of the House" but said that it was her "duty to deliver" Brexit for British citizens who voted to leave the EU in 2016.

Every day that passes without a deal, May said, means "more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancour." She said it was not her government's strategy to "run down the clock" to March 29, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, adding that she believes the best way to move forward is in an "orderly way."

May had earlier warned that a no-deal scenario made the prospect of a united Ireland, independent Scotland and ultimate breakup of the UK more likely. She called a no-deal scenario "the real threat to our union."

May admitted that it was now necessary to confirm if the House still has confidence in the government and said that if a motion of no confidence was tabled, it would be debated in parliament on Wednesday.

Standing to speak directly after May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister had suffered a “catastrophic defeat” and immediately tabled that motion of no confidence in her leadership.

Shortly after the vote, a spokesman for May said the government would be in contact with Brussels officials over the coming days and confirmed Downing Street had not ruled out a 'no deal' Brexit.

The Irish government said it regretted the outcome of the vote in the British parliament and urged London to set out how it proposes to move forward with Brexit. Referring to the backstop, Dublin said it recalled the "clear position" of the EU that May's withdrawal agreement was not open for renegotiation.

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