Britain in Brexit chaos: Parliament crushes May's EU deal again
Updated 12:49, 13-Mar-2019
CGTN
01:54

British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May's European Union (EU) divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.

Lawmakers voted against May's amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute talks with EU chiefs on Monday to assuage her critics' concerns ultimately proved fruitless.

The vote puts the world's fifth largest economy in uncharted territory with no obvious way forward; exiting the EU without a deal, delaying the March 29 divorce date, a snap election or even another referendum are all now possible.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (center L) looks on as the tellers report the result of the vote on the government's Brexit deal in the House of Commons in London, UK, March 12, 2019. /VCG Photo

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (center L) looks on as the tellers report the result of the vote on the government's Brexit deal in the House of Commons in London, UK, March 12, 2019. /VCG Photo

May might even try a third time to get parliamentary support in the hope that hardline eurosceptic lawmakers in her Conservative Party, the most vocal critics of her withdrawal treaty, might change their minds if it becomes more likely that Britain might stay in the EU after all.

While she lost, the margin of defeat was smaller than the record 230-vote loss her deal suffered in January.

Lawmakers will now vote at 7:00 p.m. (GMT) on Wednesday on whether Britain should quit the world's biggest trading bloc without a deal, a scenario that business leaders warn would bring chaos to markets and supply chains, and other critics say could cause shortages of food and medicines.

May said the government would not instruct her own party's lawmakers how to vote, as would normally be the case.

A pro-Brexit supporter outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London, UK‍, March 12, 2019. /VCG Photo

A pro-Brexit supporter outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London, UK‍, March 12, 2019. /VCG Photo

An opposition Labour Party spokesman said this meant she had "given up any pretense of leading the country." May's political spokesman said she had not discussed resigning.

The prime minister, hoarse after Monday's late-night talks, told lawmakers: "Let me be clear. Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face."

Source(s): Reuters