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12 Mar, 2019 07:35

Second time still no charm? UK Parliament expected to reject PM’s Brexit deal again

A slightly altered plan for exiting the European Union laid down by Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to be defeated at the British Parliament on Tuesday, moving the country closer to a no-deal Brexit.

MPs are to cast their second meaningful vote on the Brexit deal this year, which may well be the last one, after May secured a legally binding assurance from Brussels on the contentious issue of the Irish backstop. The first vote in mid-January resulted in a historic worst-ever parliament defeat for a British government, and this week is not expected to be successful.

The Labour opposition dismissed the slightly altered deal beforehand, saying Theresa May's assurances are not even close to the changes that she promised.

Influential Tory lawmaker Damian Collins said he will vote 'no' because “nothing has really changed since last November.” 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned before the vote that it would be the last chance for Britain to pass a negotiated divorce with the EU before the Marсh 30 deadline.

“There will be no third chance,” the top European official said. “There will be no further interpretations of the interpretations; no further assurances of the re-assurances – if the meaningful vote tomorrow fails.”

Also on rt.com UK has secured ‘legally binding’ way around Brexit backstop with EU – May

If May’s proposal is defeated, the MPs are expected to vote on Wednesday on whether they would accept a no-deal Brexit, a question they are expected to answer ‘no.’ After that, the only option left would be to either postpone Brexit for more talks with the EU or stop the process entirely – neither of which the prime minister is willing to accept.

Even if opponents of Brexit manage to overcome the resistance of the Tories later this week and make the government seek prolonged negotiations, it’s doubtful whether people in Brussels would be responsive to such a request, Gwilym Blunt, professor of international politics with the University of London, told RT.

“The Europeans are not going to agree to a delay… unless there is some substantive reason to do so – a general election, a new referendum,” he said. “But it cannot simply be for Theresa May to continue to kick the can down the line week on week, day on day.”

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