Lawmakers in the United Kingdom rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit proposal overwhelmingly on Tuesday, with just over a fortnight to go for the country’s scheduled departure from the European Union.
The 391-242 vote against the proposed deal has brought the UK to a period of uncertainty – a Reuters report said the UK may now have to exit the EU without any deal, or delay the March 29 departure date, or even call a snap election or have a new referendum.
Lawmakers will vote at 7 pm on Wednesday (12.30 am Indian time on Thursday) on whether the UK should quit the EU without a deal. It is feared that this scenario will bring chaos to markets.
A day before the voting in the House of Commons, Theresa May had won legally binding assurances from the European Union in a last-ditch attempt to persuade lawmakers. May had met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday in France to discuss additional assurances.
After the deal was defeated on Tuesday, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party called for a general election to allow the public to decide who should lead them into the next phase of Brexit, PTI reported. He said the proposal on Tuesday was the same “bad deal” that had been rejected in January and it risks people’s living standards and jobs.
The UK and the EU have differed over the terms of an Irish backstop, which is a “safety net” to preserve a border without customs and regulatory checks through a series of measures. British and European Union leaders had earlier committed to avoiding a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. Pro-Brexit leaders in May’s Conservative Party insist that the backstop would make it impossible for Britain to leave the EU.
On January 15, the British parliament had voted to reject May’s deal by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a government in modern British history.