The United Kingdom Parliament on Wednesday voted against a no-deal Brexit by a narrow margin, BBC reported. The 312-308 vote has paved the way for a possible delay in the implementation of Brexit.
The vote, however, is not binding and the United Kingdom may still leave the European Union without a deal on March 29.
The MPs will vote on whether Britain should ask the EU for permission to delay the date for the United Kingdom’s exit later on Thursday. The government said the legislators will have to decide if they want to delay the exit until June 30 but clarified that the option is only available if they support May’s deal by March 20.
Prime Minister Theresa May said a no-deal Brexit can only be circumvented if the Parliament agrees to a deal or cancels Brexit, The Guardian reported. “The legal default in EU and UK law is that the UK will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed,” May said. “The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.”
After lawmakers rejected May’s latest Brexit proposal 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.