LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May saw a crushing defeat at the UK parliament on Tuesday as her revised Brexit withdrawal deal was rejected by the House of Commons with 391 members voting against it.
Expressing regret over the decision, where members of her own party had voted against it, the British premier said she believed that the latest deal she had negotiated for was the best and the only available deal.
“I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal,” she said following the voting.
The crucial vote, which has come only days before the UK is set to leave the European Union, has cast more uncertainty over how it will leave the European Union.
May, however reiterate her commitment to seeing through the steps to be taken prior to the Brexit – whether there is one or not.
“Two weeks ago, I made a series of commitments from this despatch box regarding the steps we would take in the event that this House rejected the deal on offer. I stand by those commitments in full,” she said from a prepared statement.
“Therefore, tonight we will table a motion for debate tomorrow to test whether the House supports leaving the European Union without a deal on 29th March.
“This is an issue of grave importance for the future of our country. Just like the referendum, there are strongly held and equally legitimate views on both sides.
“For that reason, I can confirm that this will be a free vote on this side of the House.”
She confirmed the motion would read: “That this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework on the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement.”
If the vote to leave without a deal also fails, a third vote will be held Thursday on whether to seek an extension to leaving the EU.
“The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension,” May said.
“This House will have to answer that question. Does it wish to revoke Article 50? Does it want to hold a second referendum? Or does it want to leave with a deal but not this deal? – NNN/Agencies