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As MPs Reject UK PM Theresa May’s Plan, EU Warns of No-Deal Brexit

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The United Kingdom Parliament has rejected UK PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Wednesday, 13 March. The deal has been defeated again by 391 votes to 242 – a majority of 149.

Lawmakers will now vote on whether to have a no-deal Brexit on the scheduled date of 29 March, or to ask the bloc to postpone Britain’s departure and extend Article 50.

This vote on no-deal Brexit will be held at around 9 pm (IST) today.

British Prime Minister told the House of Commons that she “profoundly regrets” the defeat
EU has done “everything it can” to get Brexit deal through, says
European Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier
The EU was “disappointed” by the Brexit deal vote, said European Council President Donald Tusk
Jeremy Corbyn Calls For General Election

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded a general election after Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated by the lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 13 March. However, he did not mention a second referendum.

He also pledged, as per The Guardian, that his party would vote against a no-deal Brexit.

“The prime minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her. It’s time that we have a general election and the people can choose who their government should be,” he said in the House of Commons.

EU Warns of No-Deal Brexit, Says Cannot Offer More

The British Parliament’s rejection of the Brexit agreement makes crashing out of the EU without a deal much more likely, the bloc said on Tuesday, as it warned there is no more it can do, AFP reported.

Senior EU officials lined up to voice regret at the result, and to hammer home the message that Brussels would not make any further concessions to help May win over recalcitrant MPs.

If Parliament fails to approve an accord, the UK will crash out of the bloc without a deal on 29 March – unless a delay is agreed, something the EU said it would be willing to consider.

A spokesman for Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he regretted the result, but warned that from Brussels’ viewpoint “it is difficult to see what more we can do”.

EU ambassadors will meet in Brussels on Wednesday, 13 March, morning to assess the vote, the bloc’s contingency plans – and to discuss whether to grant a delay to Brexit if London asks for one.

EU Ready to Consider ‘Reasoned’ UK Request for Brexit Delay

EU ready to consider “reasoned” UK request for Brexit delay, said a spokeswoman.

European Council President Donald Tusk says the European Union is “disappointed” by tonight’s Brexit result, and that it has done “all that is possible to reach an agreement” with the UK, according to CNN.

‘Profoundly Regret’ Loss, Says May

The British Prime Minister told the House of Commons that she “profoundly regrets” the defeat and that the lawmakers voted against her Brexit deal.

According to CNN, she said that she believes the best course for the UK is to leave the EU. “The deal we negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal available,” she said as quoted by CNN.

“Leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law,” she added.

May’s Brexit Deal Rejected

UK parliament rejects PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal by 242 votes to 391, according to Reuters.

May in Chambers Studying Papers, Tweets Labour’s Mary Creagh

Labour’s Mary Creagh tweets, “Theresa May in chamber studying papers & avoiding eye contact with Hammond who has a thousand yard stare. Funereal front bench.”

May’s Brexit Deal Has Reached the End of the Road: Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has reached the end of the road and Britain should leave the bloc without an agreement, former British foreign secretary and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, 12 March, reported Reuters.

May faced an uphill struggle to win support for her Brexit deal ahead of a vote on Tuesday, as she failed to win over the main Brexit faction in her Conservatives and the Northern Irish party which props up her government said they would vote against it.

“This deal has now reached the end of the road. If it is rejected tonight I hope that it will be put to bed,” Johnson told parliament.

EU’s Barnier Says Britain Won’t Get Transition Without Brexit Deal

Britain will not get a post-Brexit transition period unless the House of Commons ratifies the divorce package, the bloc’s chief negotiator said on Tuesday as parliament in London seemed to be moving towards voting the deal down again.

“Listening to debate in HouseofCommons: there seems to be a dangerous illusion that the UK can benefit from a transition in the absence of the Withdrawal Agreement,” Barnier said on Twitter.

“Let me be clear: the only legal basis for a transition is the WA. No withdrawal agreement means no transition.”

Voting Underway

The MPs are now voting. In January 202 MPs voted for the deal, according to The Guardian.

MP Calls Out May For ‘Laughing’, Earns Rebuke From Speaker

Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve at Westminster Ian Blackford urged the prime minister to “extend Article 50 and bring forward another EU referendum”.

He earned a rebuke from Speaker John Bercow for accusing Mrs May of “sitting there laughing” while he was “talking about the rights that will be taken away from our young people” by Brexit, as reported by BBC.

Brexit as Much Cry Against London, as Against EU: Raghuram Rajan

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan believes that the UK could benefit from leaving the European Union (EU) if the government gets the Brexit policy framework right.

“I don’t think it will be resolved if power goes back to London but doesn’t get diffused to communities. This [Brexit] is as much a cry against London as it is a cry against the EU,” he told ‘The Times’.

Rajan, a former chief economist at the IMF who has also been tipped by some UK media reports as one of the candidates to succeed Mark Carney as the Governor of the Bank of England next year.

‘MPs Tonight Face Clear Choice… Deal or No Deal’: UK PM May

Speaking during the proceeding, UK PM May said, “Tonight members of this House are faced with a very clear choice…vote to support this deal, in which case we leave with a deal, or risk no deal or no Brexit. These are the options before the House.”

Reteirating the core elements of the revised deal to convince lawmakers to vote for the the motion, May noted:

Full reciprocal protections of EU citizens in UK and UK citizens in EU
Implementation period to be given to everyone, especially to the businesses. Time will be allotted to the businesses to adjust
Full control of taxpayers’ money from ending membership payments to EU
End of free movement, replaced by skills-based immigration
End of European Court of Justice jurisdiction in UK
End of common agricultural policy for farmers
End of common fisheries policy for our coastal communities
Closest possible economic relationship with UK’s neighbours outside the single customs union
Closest security partnership between UK and any third country
Protections for just-in-time supply chains
Ability to strike our own Free Trade Agreement
Key Brexit Lawmakers Reject May’s Revised Deal

A group of key Brexit-backing lawmakers in Britain said that it won’t vote for UK PM Theresa May’s revised EU divorce deal as the “changes she has secured are not good enough.”

The European Research Group of Conservative Brexiteers said that after examining the documents, they will not accept government’s motion.

Group member Bill Cash said “we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today.”

‘EU Won’t Renegotiate Again,’ Says EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani

The head of the European Parliament said the European Union will not make further concessions to Britain after the country’s attorney general failed to fundamentally alter his legal advice on Prime Minister Theresa May’s revised deal, Associate Press reported.

EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani said the problems raised by the attorney general are “an internal problem of the UK” and would not prompt the EU to reconsider the Brexit deal again.

“We are very clear it is impossible to change our position,” Tajani said after he heard about the objections.

UK A-G Explains ‘Legal Risk Unchanged’ Memo

Attorney-General Cox defended his legal memo saying May’s new deal leaves the ‘legal risk [of not being able to unilaterally exit the Irish backstop] unchanged’.

Labour used the memo to argue that the government’s deal had delivered nothing new – Cox responded that while the legal risk may remain unchanged, the new deal significantly reduces the likelihood of ‘bad faith actions’ by the EU in backstop negotiations.

Revised Brexit deal doesn’t undermine backstop: Irish PM

‘Legal Risks of Brexit Unchanged’: UK Attorney General

UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has now responded to UK PM Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s 11th hour deal before the vote. Cox says the new deal “does not change the legal risks” for the UK, and not does give it a legal avenue through which to unilaterally exit the Irish backstop if “intractable differences” between the parties arose.

This puts a spoke in May’s hopes of getting her new deal passed in the UK Parliament later today.

The pound fell by 1% against the US dollar in response to the A-G’s memo.

The Irish Backstop

The Irish backstop that is currently the main point of contention was put in place between the UK and EU in most part to prevent a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and the UK. When Brexit is finalised, the border between Ireland and the UK becomes the new international border.

But neither Ireland nor the UK want to go back to having check posts and customs regulations for goods because of the disruption. At the same time, Brexiteers fear the backstop would result in the UK being tied indefinitely to EU laws. They have been demanding assurances that the UK will be able to exit the backstop unilaterally – assurances that May says her new deal provides.

UK Lawmakers Vote to Hold Prime Minister to Brexit Promises

Second Time Lucky? Theresa May Brings New Deal to UK Parliament

The first meaningful vote on 15 January 2019 (already delayed from December) was on the terms of United Kingdom’s messy divorce from the European Union (EU). The deal UK PM Theresa May put to Parliament then was defeated by 230 votes, in the biggest government defeat in history.

On 11 March 2019, in an 11th hour rush before the second vote on 12 March, May took her new terms to EU lawmakers, and struck what she hopes will be a more agreeable deal to the UK Parliament. These new terms, she says, are “legally binding” and will give legal assurance to MPs that the ‘Irish backstop’ will not be permanent.

Britain exits the EU on the 29th with or without a deal, but a no-deal Brexit is widely feared to cause havoc in the British system. The vote will be held on Tuesday evening, after a day-long debate in Parliament.

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