Brexit deal rejected second time, triggers call for new approach
The issue of when, if and how the UK leaves the European Union remained up in the air after MPs rejected the withdrawal agreement sewed by Prime Minister Theresa May.Updated: Mar 13, 2019 08:30 IST
The issue of when, if and how the United Kingdom leaves the European Union remained up in the air after MPs on Tuesday rejected the withdrawal agreement sewed by Prime Minister Theresa May over nearly three years after the 2016 referendum.
The pound took another beating and business organisations expressed frustration and more over the continuing uncertainty over the way forward beyond March 29, when the UK is due to leave the EU.
Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry said it is “time for parliament to stop this circus…Enough is enough. This must be the last day of failed politics. A new approach is needed by all parties. Jobs and livelihoods depend on it.”
The revised agreement package, reached in Starsbourg on Monday evening, was rejected in the House of Commons by 391 to 242; its previous version was resoundingly voted down in January. The continuing impasse threw up a range of options, including another referendum.
May said after the defeat: “I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken tonight. I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the UK leaves the EU in an orderly fashion with a deal, and that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal available.”
There are two immediate next steps: MPs will be asked to vote on Wednesday whether the UK should leave with or without an agreement. Then, on Thursday, MPs will vote on whether the May government should seek an extension beyond March 29.
May added: “But let me be clear. Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face. The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension. This House will have to answer that question.”
“Does it wish to revoke Article 50? Does it want to hold a second referendum? Or does it want to leave with a deal but not this deal? These are unenviable choices, but thanks to the decision the House has made this evening they must now be faced.”
After the defeat, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded that May call a general election to resolve the impasse: “The government has been defeated again by an enormous majority and it must accept its deal is clearly dead and does not have the support of this House.”
First Published: Mar 13, 2019 07:59 IST