The British Parliament on Wednesday rejected leaving the European Union without a proper withdrawal agreement — or a no-deal Brexit.
The MPs voted 312-308 against a no-deal departure plan one day after again rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal.
May said that after Parliament twice rejected her plan as well as the no-deal withdrawal, she’ll have to seek an extension to the March 29 deadline for Britain’s departure. A vote on an extension was expected Thursday. That would need unlikely approval from the EU.
“I don’t see a reason to give any extension if first of all, we don’t know what the majority position is of the House of Commons,” Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit official, said Wednesday. “We are waiting now for a proposal from London. It is now in London that they have to find a way out of this and break the deadlock.”
Likewise, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday the blame for Britain’s Brexit struggles lies among lawmakers in London.
“The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line,” Barnier said on Twitter. “The impasse can only be solved in the U.K. Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.”
“Listening to debate in [the House of Commons]: There seems to be a dangerous illusion that the U.K. can benefit from a transition in the absence of [a deal]. Let me be clear: The only legal basis for a transition is the Withdrawal Agreement. No withdrawal agreement means no transition,” Barnier warned in another tweet.
There is still a push by some Parliament members to vote on taking a no-deal Brexit off the table under any circumstances but it is unclear on whether that will get a vote.
One of the leading voices for Brexit, former British legislator Nigel Farage, said he asked President Donald Trump to back supporters of a no-deal Brexit if May’s current deal with the EU remains on the table, The Telegraph reported.
Farage said the conversation between he and Trump happened last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.
ByClyde Hughes and Danielle Haynes