Prime Minister Theresa May still sees no majority for her Brexit deal. Now, the MPs in the lower house want to find an alternative on their own.
The UK Parliament will vote against alternatives to the Brexit agreement against the will of the government this Wednesday. A similar motion was adopted on late Monday evening in the House of Commons final vote by a majority of 327 to 300. For Prime Minister Theresa May this is a bitter defeat. Several secretaries of state resigned their offices to vote against the government.
Opposition Labor party Brexit expert Keir Starmer described the result via Twitter as "another humiliating defeat for the prime minister, who has completely lost control of her party, her cabinet and the Brexit process."
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Options include a closer connection to the EU or a second referendum. But even a direct departure from Brexit by withdrawing the resignation is in conversation. A vote for one of these variants would not be legally binding, but would give an indication of what a majority in parliament could be.
May still has no support for her deal
Prime Minister Theresa May had previously acknowledged that there is still no majority in favor of her Brexit agreement. Therefore, she does not want to vote again for the time being on the contract package for the EU exit, she said in the afternoon before the lower house.
"According to the current state, there is still insufficient support in the lower house to present the agreement for a third vote," says May. Twice the head of government has already crashed with the deal.
Previously it had been speculated that Parliament could vote on the deal again this Tuesday. But she's working to get a vote this week, May continued.
The government was not bound, the MEPs should commit to an alternative to the Brexit agreement, said May. The automatic consequence of a rejection of their deal is still a withdrawal without agreement. At the same time, however, she reassured: "A No Deal will not happen unless the lower house agrees."
However, there should be no departure from Brexit, May said. It also warned against a "slow" EU exit with an extension of the deadline beyond 22 May, which would require participation in the European elections, from 23 to May 26th takes place.
EU agrees to delay – on one condition
Originally Britain was to leave the EU on 29 March. The EU offered London a shift in Brexit last week until 22 May. However, the condition for this is that the lower house approves the withdrawal agreement this week. Otherwise, the extension is only valid until April 12th. In that case, before this date, London should say how to proceed.
The European Commission did not want to comment on May's announcements in the evening. A spokeswoman merely pointed out that only until Friday was time to organize the vote. If this does not happen, Britain must present a compelling alternative by 12 April – or leave the EU without a deal.
The government in London wants to be blessed this week by Parliament for a legal ordinance, which is to be postponed the previous date of departure March 29, also under national law. If the regulation is not approved, confusion and injurious uncertainty will arise, but the Brexit date will not change, said May.
Will Theresa May resign?
British media had reported on the weekend, May could be forced by her cabinet to a speedy resignation. On Monday morning, the Prime Minister met her cabinet for a special session.
May received support before the special session of Trade Minister Liam Fox. The Prime Minister enjoyed the respect of the population, which surprised her, as May deals with all the pressure, said Fox in the morning to the radio station BBC Radio 4. The prospect of participation in the European elections in the event of a prolonged Brexit postponement could probably many deputies convince them to support the withdrawal agreement after all, so Fox.
Meanwhile, the EU is continuing to prepare for a chaotic Brexit. The European Commission published new information material for citizens on Monday. For example, it describes what to do when traveling to the UK. It is becoming more and more likely that there will be a Brexit without a withdrawal agreement, said a senior EU official on Monday to the preparations.
Fear of a no-deal Brexit is growing
For travel to the United Kingdom, the leaflet states that the European Health Insurance Card would cease to apply and additional charges could be added for mobile phone use. Moreover, EU citizens would have to expect customs checks on the return journey. However, according to the current status, visas are only required for stays longer than three months.
If Britain actually leaves the EU without a withdrawal contract, dramatic consequences for the economy and many other areas of life are expected. Millions of EU citizens in Britain and Britons in the EU would be plunged into great uncertainty.