British lawmakers reject PM's Brexit deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-29 23:56:07|Editor: Xiaoxia
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Photo taken on March 29, 2019 shows the sculptural group of Boadicea and Her Daughters and the U.K. flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. British lawmakers on Friday voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, which has already been rejected twice in Parliament since January. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

LONDON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- British lawmakers on Friday voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, which has already been rejected twice in Parliament since January.

MPs voted 286 to 344 to turn down the Withdrawal Agreement and delay Brexit to May 22.

May said after the vote that the implications of the outcome are "grave."

"I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House," the prime minister said after she was defeated by a majority of 58.

At the request of the British government, MPs were asked to vote Friday only on the 585-page Withdrawal Agreement, which was concluded in November 2018 between London and the EU after long and painful negotiations. The Brexit deal sets out the terms of Britain's departure from the European Union.

May's Brexit deal was rejected in the House of Commons by a record 230 votes in January and by 149 earlier this month.

The prime minister separated her Brexit deal from the 26-page political declaration on future relations when seeking the parliamentary vote partly to meet the recent ruling of Commons Speaker John Bercow that the same motion can not be tabled twice in the same parliamentary session.

After the vote, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, told the House of Commons that "it is the third time that the prime minister's agreement was rejected."

Corbyn went further to call for a general election in the country. His statement was echoed by MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party, which is from Northern Ireland and propping up May's minority government.

Earlier this month, MPs voted to delay Brexit from March 29 to April 12 or May 22.

The "legal default" is that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on April 12, said May, who has been waging an uphill fight to get her Brexit deal through Parliament in order to pave the way for Britain to leave the European Union on May 22.

Britain will leave the European Union with no deal unless May can find a new agreement with Brussels.

The prime minister said that she had not enough time to negotiate a new agreement with the European Union with only 14 days to go until the new Brexit date.

However, she said that her government will push for an orderly Brexit after Parliament had rejected a no-deal Brexit and a fresh Brexit referendum.

May said earlier this week that she had agreed to step down as prime minister before the next phase of negotiations with the European Union if her deal is passed in Parliament.

The European Council said last week that if MPs approved the Brexit deal by March 29, the European Union would extend the Article 50 exit process until May 22.

In response to the latest vote in the British Parliament, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, tweeted that European Union's leaders will meet on April 10 for a summit to discuss Britain's departure from the bloc.

"In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April," Tusk said in the message.

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