It was worse than expected and doesn’t portend well for Prime Minister Theresa May. The British parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly, 432 to 202 to reject her Brexit deal complicating the country’s historic exit from the European Union.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, 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 about what it does support. Nothing about how or even if it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum parliament decided to hold. And people particularly EU citizens who’ve made their home here and UK citizens living in the EU deserve clarity on these questions as soon as possible.”, British Prime Minister, Theresa May, said.
The EU negotiator had similar sentiments, but put the blame squarely on the Conservative Party.
Leader of Alliance of liberals and Democrats for Europe, Guy Verhofstadt, said: “But I think it’s time now to tell our British friends that for the sake of Britain itself it’s time for cross party cooperation in Britain as we do here in this parliament from day one. So to define what a new relationship between the UK and the EU must be and to redefine also, redefine the red lines, the red lines that are in fact unilaterally imposed from the beginning by the…, let me say that the hard line is in the conservative party.”
Scotland had never wanted BREXIT in the first place… Now it asks for the clock to stop on the March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the EU.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“Well this is a defeat of literally historic proportions for the prime minister and she has seen it coming for months and has just wasted time. We can’t waste time any longer. First of all, I believe now is the time to stop the Article 50 clock, to take away any risk of the UK crashing out the EU without a deal on the 29th of March.
However politics could well be forcing Theresa May’s hand… Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s no-confidence motion is being debated in the House of Commons… a vote May, may well win as her party is not keen on a general election.
Britain’s Minister for work and pensions, Amber Rudd, said: “The real issue that I think people may need to focus on today is how devastating a Jeremy Corbyn government would be for this country. We have difficulties over delivering on Brexit but nothing, nothing would be worse than a Corbyn government.”
The main contention in the rejected deal is a backstop clause on the border with Northern Ireland. Since Northern Ireland would technically remain in the EU, it would follow the rules of the EU single market.
Hence goods moving from Britain to Northen Ireland would be checked to see if they meet EU standards. This would in time result in a possible hard border and its consequences.
BREXIT: What Happens next?
– Prime Minister May would first need to defeat NO COnfidence Motion. The Labour Party could likely call a second referendum, which is gaining support among the people. The Conservatives and Labour could work together on a new Brexit deal. Prime Minister May could ask for Postponing Article 50, and gain more time to negotiate. She may also call a General Election. All this could be averted if Britain makes alternative arrangements on the Northern Ireland issue or backstop stays. Finally Britain could leave without a deal.