Messy no-deal Brexit 'looks likely — European Union negotiator

03 April, 2019, 11:36 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal alternatives, as fears of messy departure grow

Britain's Parliament has spoken - and it has said no, again.

On Monday night parliament voted down four options proposed by lawmakers for how to move forward, ranging from the idea of retaining key elements of European Union membership, to holding a new referendum.

With just 12 days until the United Kingdom must come up with a new plan or crash out of the bloc in chaos, the House of Commons threw out four alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May's thrice-rejected Brexit deal - though in some cases by a whisker.

None of the Monday votes on the proposals are legally binding, meaning it will be up to the British government if they act on the results. It can gamble on a fourth attempt to push the deal through Parliament, let Britain tumble out of the bloc without a deal, or roll the dice by seeking a snap election to shake up Parliament.

The House of Commons has rejected May's divorce deal with Brussels three times and is now trying to come up with an alternative way forward.

A long delay raises the chances of an early British election, which could rearrange Parliament and break the deadlock.

The third defeat of May's withdrawal agreement on Friday - the date the United Kingdom was originally scheduled to leave the European Union - has left the weakest British leader in a generation facing a spiralling crisis.

"This house has continuously rejected leaving without a deal just as it has rejected not leaving at all", he said.

May has ruled those options out, because sticking to European Union trade rules would limit Britain's ability to forge new trade deals around the world.

The British electorate, its two major parties and May's cabinet are all divided over Brexit, and May risks ripping her Conservative Party apart if she tilts towards a closer post-Brexit relationship with the European Union or leaving without a deal.

The UK government and Brussels reached a divorce deal past year but the UK parliament refuses to back the agreement and can not agree on any alternative measures.

The cacophony of warnings over an economically disruptive Brexit without a transition deal has ratcheted up the pressure on British lawmakers as some try to legislate to prevent a no-deal.

"We will meet the prime minister".

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Key Conservative Brexit-backers slammed May's move.

"It is now clear to the prime minister that she can not get this deal through with the votes from her own party so this very likely means that they will be seeking - potentially - a softer Brexit deal than she had been putting forward", he said.

The UK is set to leave European bloc on April 12 without a deal, unless the government can agree an extension with EU leaders.

This is a breaking news story and is constantly being updated.

Johnston added that May's decision to work with the opposition is likely to infuriate members of her Conservative party.

The range of choices, and lack of consensus, reflect a Parliament and a government deeply divided over how - and whether - to leave the EU.

Anti-Brexit demonstrators near College Green at the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, April 1, 2019.

Ford's European boss said that if the United Kingdom can't work out a deal on leaving the EU that guarantees "frictionless trade", the vehicle maker "will have to consider seriously the long-term future of our investments in the country".

Amid all the uncertainty, analysts have said the economic impact in Britain could be massive.

Mr Corbyn expected a customs union and protection of workers' and consumer rights to be "on the table". The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that a note attached to one device said "leave means leave" and vowed to "bring this country to its knees if we don't leave".

The impasse has already delayed Brexit for at least two weeks beyond the planned departure date of March 29 to 2200 GMT on April 12.

If May gets the deal through parliament, Brexit can be postponed until May 22.

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