Parliament rejected the Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to exit the European Union with here reformed deal for a second time on Tuesday night, creating further uncertainty, 16 days before the planned departure date.
The pound lost ground against the dollar and the Euro, and more volatility is expected over the next 24 hours.
MP’s voted against May’s amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute talks with EU chiefs on Monday with the EU, proving her critics’ right that her fruitless plan did not have what it takes to gain the support of the house.
A battered Prime Minister appealed to MPs in a voice half-breaking due to a cold, as she urged them to avoid the “economic shock” of leaving without an agreement.
But she also warned eurosceptics, many of whom have campaigned to leave the EU for their whole careers, that if her deal failed, so might Brexit.
May has promised to allow MPs to vote on a “no deal” option on Wednesday and if that is rejected, to decide on Thursday whether to ask the EU to delay Brexit.
“If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost,” she said before the vote.
However, Eurosceptics believe the current deal is so bad that it is worth the risk of leaving with no plan.
The latest vote comes two years after Britain set the clock ticking on its departure from the EU following a highly divisive referendum in 2016.
Michel Barnier, the EU chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had nothing more to offer and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce.
“The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line,” Barnier tweeted. “The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.”
MPs will vote on Wednesday evening on whether to reject a no-deal Brexit.
The prime minister said Tory MPs will get a free vote on the motion.
That means Tory MPs can vote with their conscience rather than following the orders of party managers – an unusual move for a vote on major policy.
The motion says: “This House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework on the future relationship on March 29.”
If no-deal is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on delaying Brexit by extending Article 50 – the legal mechanism that takes the UK out of the EU.
Businesses are outraged with the lack of direction provided by the government and a consciously looking to support a second referendum and a general election, proposed by the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has been trying to force snap elections, said May must now admit that her government’s overarching strategy had failed.
“Their deal, their proposal, the one the prime minister’s put, is clearly dead,” Corbyn said, calling on her to negotiate for a softer Brexit to keep close economic ties with the EU.
The EU has said it would need “a credible justification” before agreeing to any extension. Leaving the EU in 16 days’ time remains the UK’s default position under the law.
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