Business

No third chance for the UK

Prime Minister Theresa May's government was defeated

“There will be no third chance,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said after his talks on Monday with May.

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Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to quit the European Union for a second time on Tuesday, deepening the country’s worst political crisis for generations, 17 days before the planned departure date.

Lawmakers voted against May’s amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute talks with EU chiefs on Monday to assuage her critics’ concerns ultimately proved fruitless.

After the deafet, the EU warned that no third chance will be given over the backstop. The backstop is designed to protect the peace process in Northern Ireland, which involved the removal of border checks with EU member Ireland.

Brexit supporters wanted a unilateral way out of it or a time limit to the arrangement, but the EU said this would make it worthless.

But leaders across Europe also united behind a message that this was the best and final offer Britain could expect.

“There will be no third chance,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said after his talks on Monday with May.

If MPs vote against a “no deal” exit on Wednesday and want to postpone Brexit, the other 27 EU nations would need to agree.

British and EU law both agree on one point, on the 29th of March the UK will leave the EU, with or without a deal. The scramble must now be to amend that law, but there is no guarantee that an extension will resolve the deeply divided house.

Their leaders will meet in Brussels for a summit on March 21-22.

But any postponement may have to be short-lived. Juncker on Monday said Brexit “should be complete before the European elections” at the end of May.

The UK voted by 52-48 percent in 2016 to leave the EU but the decision has not only divided the main parties but also exposed deep rifts in British society. Surfacing concerns about immigration and globalisation to the fore.

Many fear that Brexit will divide the West and weakened the UK, as it grapples with both the unconventional U.S. presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China, leaving Britain economically weaker and with its security capabilities diminished.

Supporters say Brexit allows Britain to control immigration and take advantage of global opportunities, striking new trade deals with the US and others while still keeping close links to the EU, which, even without Britain, would be a single market of 440 million people.

This failure, however, does signal one thing, the government was formed by Theresa May to lead Britain out of the EU. This should be enough to signal a new vote of no confidence to lead to a general election.

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