By Muhammad Mussa
British Prime Minister Theresa May will be forced to present parliament with a new Brexit deal if her current deal is voted down after MPs voted on Wednesday in favor of a Tory rebel amendment.
The amendment passed through the House of Commons 308-297 and was submitted by Dominic Grieve, the Tory MP and former attorney general.
The amendment sets forth a three-day deadline for May to negotiate a new deal in the expected likelihood that she loses the meaningful vote next week and reduces the threat of the U.K. crashing out of the EU without a deal.
Downing Street made clear today that if May loses the vote next week, the prime minister would return to parliament and present her alternative plans on what course to take next.
This latest vote would mark the government’s second defeat in 24 hours, as May was humiliated on Tuesday when a powerful cross-party coalition of MPs voted in favor of an amendment to limit the government in preparing for a no-deal Brexit.
“I realize there are a few of my colleagues who believe that if the government’s deal is rejected we should simply do nothing and leave the EU on March 29 with no deal at all and with all, to my mind, the calamitous consequences that would follow on from it,” Grieve told local media after the vote.
“I disagree with that, and so I think do the vast majority of members of parliament. The only way we can move forward if the government’s deal is not acceptable to parliament is for parliament to engage with government and find a solution, which is what I am trying to do,” he added.
During the weekly Question Time in parliament, May clearly stated that the U.K. will be leaving the EU on March 29 and that her deal is the only alternative to a no deal scenario.
May postponed the vote on the deal last month after admitting that her government would have faced a humiliating defeat.
The vote is set for Jan. 15, and May is still expected to lose after the DUP, which props up her government, have reiterated they will still vote against her deal over opposition to the Irish backstop arrangement.
May has also failed in renegotiating her deal with the EU, with officials in Brussels saying the deal on the table is non-negotiable.