United Kingdom lawmakers on Monday once again failed to find a majority on any alternative Brexit plan before them, 10 days before Britain’s departure from the European Union, BBC reported. The legislators have already rejected the Brexit divorce deal three times.
The European Union has set an April 12 deadline for the United Kingdom to either agree to the divorce terms that Prime Minister Theresa May has struck with the bloc, figure out an alternative or leave the bloc without a deal.
March 29 was the original date for Brexit, but the Parliament has repeatedly failed to decide on the terms of the exit. Last week, May had offered to resign if the deal passed in a bid to win over rebels in her Conservative Party.
The MPs voted on four different options for leaving the European Union, but none gained a majority. The only motion that came close to getting a majority was a proposal to keep Britain in a customs union with the European Union, Reuters reported. The motion was defeated by three votes.
A proposal to hold a second referendum went down by 292 to 280 votes. However, May is opposed to holding another referendum and has said it would betray the voters who were promised that the result of 2016 referendum would be implemented.
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said the default legal position is that the UK will leave the European Union without a deal on April 12 – an option that could result in huge economic disruption. Britain may bring back its deal for a fourth vote this week, Barclay said, AFP reported. “Cabinet will meet in the morning [Tuesday morning] to consider the results of tonight’s vote and how we should proceed,” Barclay said.
Meanwhile, Nick Boles resigned from the Conservative Party after his motion to stay in the Single Market was rejected. This option would accept May’s deal with the bloc for Brexit, but also require her to negotiate a new customs arrangement and membership of the European Union Single Market. The Single Market or Common Market seekes to guarantee the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour within the bloc.
Boles later said on Twitter that he would remain an MP and sit in the House of Commons as “an Independent Progressive Conservative”.