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UK rejects no-deal Brexit

The British Parliament has rejected leaving the European Union without a deal in a close vote on Wednesday.

UK rejects no-deal Brexit
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • March 14, 2019
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A motion ruling out a disorderly no-deal Brexit was upheld by 321 MPs, while 278 voted in support of the UK's speedy exit on 29 March. 

Despite the vote, Prime Minister Theresa May said that a no-deal exit can not be ruled out and that MPs need to agree on a way forward before the EU can consider an extension. 

Responding to the vote, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that London has acted reasonably. He reiterated that a no-deal exit is in nobody's interest.

Prior to Wednesday's vote the Commons Select Committee said that Parliament will need to request an extension to Article 50 to allow sufficient time for the House of Commons to identify a way forward.

"After another historic defeat for the Prime Minister, the UK will now have to apply for an extension to Article 50. The extension will need to be of sufficient length to allow Parliament to reach agreement on a proposal that it is prepared to support," chair of the Committee, Hilary Benn, said.

"Parliament must now be given the chance to hold a series of indicative votes as quickly as possible or else we will not find out what there might be support for as an alternative to the Prime Minister’s deal which has now been rejected twice by large majorities."

On Tuesday, MPs slammed the PM's Brexit deal with 391 MPs votes against, compared with 242 votes of support.

"I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken tonight," the PM said before the House of Commons.

"I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the UK leaves the EU in an orderly fashion with a deal, and that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal available."

Following the latest vote, the UK now has to decide whether it wishes to revoke Article 50, hold a second referendum or leave with a different deal.

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