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MayDay! Brexit in jeopardy as UK PM suffers crushing defeat

January 16, 2019 06:06 AM

COURTESY TOI JAN 16

MayDay! Brexit in jeopardy as UK PM suffers crushing defeat
Oppn Chief Moves No-Trust Motion After 432-202 Rout
Naomi Canton & Agencies

London:

British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin on Tuesday, triggering political upheaval that could lead to a disorderly exit from the European Union or even to a reversal of the 2016 decision to leave.


Parliament voted 432-202 against her deal, the first time since 1924 that a government has endured a defeat by more than 100 votes on the floor of the Commons. Soon after the vote, UK opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn moved a vote of no-confidence.

At least 118 MPs of May’s own party voted against the deal. With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the UK is now ensnared in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project that it joined in 1973.

May’s crushing loss, the first British parliamentary defeat of a treaty since 1864, marks the collapse of her twoyear strategy of forging an amicable divorce with close ties to the EU after the March 29 exit. “The Brexit deal is basically dead,” said Anand Menon, professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College London. “The EU and British lawmakers will consider the deal dead, so the UK will have no Brexit policy and no viable alternative to the Brexit policy,” Menon said.

After repeatedly refusing to resign or to countenance another referendum, May was to make a statement. Her options include setting course for a no-deal exit, brinkmanship to try to secure concessions from the EU, a delay to Brexit, resignation, an election or a referendum.

Ever since Britain voted by 52-48% to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016, the political class has been debating how to leave the European project forged by France and Germany after the devastation of the World War

 
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