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MPs reject May’s EU withdrawal agreement for third time

House of Commons votes by 344 to 286 to reject Theresa May's deal with the EU.

The UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

MPs have voted to once again reject the withdrawal agreement Theresa May struck with the European Union.

They voted by 344 to 286 – a majority of 58 – against the Prime Minister’s deal, which would have seen the UK leave the EU on May 22.

As things stand, the UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU on April 12, however MPs have previously rejected doing so without a deal.

May said the implications of the vote were “grave”, adding: “I fear we are reaching the limits of the process in this House.”

SNP Westminster Ian Blackford and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both called for May to resign now and trigger a general election – she said earlier this week she would stand down once her deal had passed.

Responding to the vote, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that he would call a European Council meeting on April 10.

The Prime Minister, after raising a point of order in the Commons following the vote, said: “I think it should be a matter of profound regret to every member of this House that once again we have been unable to support leaving the European Union in an orderly fashion.

“The implications of the House’s decision are grave. The legal default now is that the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 12 April – in just 14 days’ time.

“This is not enough time to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal, and yet the House has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal.

“And so we will have to agree an alternative way forward.”

On Monday, MPs will once again take part in indicative votes to determine if there is a parliamentary majority for an alternative approach.

She added: “The European Union has been clear that any further extension will need to have a clear purpose and will need to be agreed unanimously by the heads of the other 27 member states ahead of April 12.

“It is also almost certain to involve the UK being required to hold European parliamentary elections.

“On Monday, this House will continue the process to see if there is a stable majority for a particular alternative version of our future relationship with the EU.

“Of course, all of the options will require the withdrawal agreement.

“I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House. This House has rejected no-deal. It has rejected no Brexit.

“On Wednesday it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table, and today it has rejected approving the withdrawal agreement alone and continuing a process on the future.

“This government will continue to press the case for the orderly Brexit that the result of the referendum demands.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the time was right to now revoke Article 50 and hold a general election.

He said: “We must give ourselves time and I suggest to her we now must look seriously at the option of revocation – we need to apply the handbrake to this process.

“The Prime Minister has failed to take this deal forward and she does not have the confidence of the House.

“The Prime Minister has indicated her departure. She should now go and we should be having a general election.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for Mrs May to step aside and for a general election to be held.

Corbyn said: “This is now the third time the Prime Minister’s deal has been rejected.

“When it was defeated the first time, the Prime Minister said it was clear this House does not support the deal.

“Does she now finally accept this House does not support the deal? Because she seemed to indicate just now that she is going to return to this issue again.

“On Monday, this House has the chance, and I say to all members, the responsibility to find a majority for a better deal for all the people of this country.

“The House has been clear this deal now has to change. There has to be an alternative found.

“If the Prime Minister can’t accept that then she must go. Not at an indeterminate date in the future, but now, so that we can decide the future of this country through a general election.”


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