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  • A pro-Brexit protester holds a sign at the March to Leave demonstration in London, Britain March 29, 2019.

    A pro-Brexit protester holds a sign at the March to Leave demonstration in London, Britain March 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 March 2019

After her plan was defeated, for the third time, May said the United Kingdom would need "an alternative way forward."

British Premier Theresa May and her cabinet are looking for ways to bring her Brexit deal back to the House of Commons for a fourth attempt.

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After her plan was defeated, for the third time, by 58 votes on Friday, May said the United Kingdom (U.K.) would need "an alternative way forward", hinting at a new bid to get enough backing. 

On the most recent attempt, the Prime Minister needed 318 votes to be able to guarantee the extension of Brexit until May 22, as the European Union had demanded. With the defeat, however, the new divorce date is still two weeks away, on April 12, which would leave the nation without a deal. The first vote was lost by 230 votes, the second by 149.

The government has so far failed to win over 34 Conservative rebels, including both “Remainers” as well as Tory Brexiteers, who say the deal still leaves the U.K. too closely aligned to Europe.

On Saturday, the Sunday Times newspaper reported that at least six pro-EU senior ministers will resign if she opts for a potentially damaging no-deal departure from the bloc. On the other hand, rival ministers who support Brexit have also threatened to quit if May decides to stay close to the EU with a customs union or if she sought a long delay. In either case, the prime minister risks the “total collapse” of her government.

During Wednesday’s vote, MPs decided on eight different possible Brexit options, none received the majority support creating a deadlock. The options included leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal, staying in the bloc's customs union and the single market, a public referendum or canceling Brexit if the prospect of a no-deal departure gets close. 

MPs from all parties will test support for other options during a second round of "indicative votes" on April 1. However, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said the government did not support any of those alternatives.


 

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