Theresa May faces huge defeat as British MPs reject Brexit

RSTV Bureau
London:  Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. May is struggling to win support for her Brexit deal in Parliament. Lawmakers are due to vote on the agreement Tuesday, and all signs suggest they will reject it, adding uncertainty to Brexit less than three months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. AP/PTI Photo

London: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. May is struggling to win support for her Brexit deal in Parliament. Lawmakers are due to vote on the agreement Tuesday, and all signs suggest they will reject it, adding uncertainty to Brexit less than three months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. AP/PTI Photo

British government faces a crushing defeat as MPs reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal to leave the European Union prompting a no confidence motion against the Theresa May government. By rejecting plans of Brexit on March 29, the government and its plan for Brexit are both in a crisis.

In the biggest defeat ever suffered by a British premier in the modern history, May’s bid to get the withdrawal agreement, was rejected by 230 votes as MPs voted 432 votes to 202 votes.

With just over two months to go until the scheduled departure from the 28-member European Union, Britain is still undecided on what to do. Following her defeat in the House of Commons, May said, “The house has spoken and the government will listen. It is clear that the house does not support this deal but tonight’s vote tells us nothing what it does support.” May also asked members on both the sides to support British people as they were in favour of Brexit in the referendum held in 2016.

Soon after the defeat, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s, Labour party moved a motion of no-confidence against the May government, calling her defeat “catastrophic”. He said, “Labour will table a motion of no-confidence in May’s government tomorrow.”

As per the Britain’s parliamentary procedure, when a bill is rejected by the MPs, the prime minister has three sitting days to return to Parliament with a Plan B.

It is expected that May would head to Brussels on Wednesday to try and secure further concessions from the EU before coming back to UK Parliament with a new proposal.

This could be put to vote by the MPs. Should this also fail, the Government would have another three weeks to come back with another alternative.

If the withdrawal agreement never gets through with Parliament, then in all likeliness the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal on March 29.

This would mean overnight EU laws and customs and the free movement of goods, services and people will cease.

Reacting to the development, the EU immediately warned that the outcome raises the risk of a hugely disruptive “no deal” Brexit where Britain could sever ties with its biggest trading partner overnight.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged the May government to “clarify its intentions as soon as possible”, warning: “Time is almost up.”

(With inputs from agencies)