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Lawmakers want a “Plan B” for May’s Brexit deal

Posted in World

Published on January 13, 2019 with No Comments

British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered an early defeat to her Brexit plans when Parliament demanded the government come up with a Plan B within days if she loses a vote on her deal to leave the European Union.

With less than three months before Britain is due to leave the EU, Parliament began a five-day battle over May’s Brexit plan with a show of force, undermining her preferred timetable if lawmakers vote down her deal next Tuesday.

May has refused to retreat from her unpopular deal, which envisages close trading ties with the EU after leaving in March, pressing ahead with the vote that she looks set to lose after failing to win over her nominal Northern Irish allies.

Losing the vote would deepen the uncertainty over the future of Brexit, Britain’s biggest shift in foreign and trade policy for more than 40 years, and open the way for several different outcomes, ranging from a disorderly exit to another referendum.

Lawmakers voted 308-297 in favour of demanding the government come up with an alternative plan within three working days after Tuesday’s vote, rather than a planned 21-day limit, in a non-binding motion that nonetheless piles pressure on the government.There were turbulent scenes in parliament when some in May’s Conservative Party accused the speaker of bias. Responding to the vote, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay told Parliament it was the government’s intention to act quickly if it lost Tuesday’s vote. “I also want to reassure colleagues that whatever the outcome of this debate, we will respond rapidly, recognising that we must provide parliament with as much security as possible,” Barclay said.


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