Politics, Europe

Brexit: May suffers second parliamentary defeat

Tory Eurosceptics abstain from vote as May’s authority dealt a fresh blow

14.02.2019
Brexit: May suffers second parliamentary defeat

By Muhammad Mussa


LONDON

British prime minister has suffered an embarrassing defeat in the House of Commons after MPs rejected her renewed approach to leaving the EU on Thursday.

Legislators voted 303 to 258 against the government amendment that would have endorsed Theresa May’s renewed approach in negotiations with the EU and prevent the U.K. from crashing out the EU without a deal.

Importantly, however, a band of Tory rebels led by Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg of the Eurosceptic European Research Group who want to pursue a no-deal Brexit, abstained from the vote and as such left the government vulnerable to a heavy defeat.

The government’s second defeat on a Brexit vote highlights how the prime minister is once again losing control of her party in the final weeks before the U.K. is scheduled to exit the EU.

Although the vote was non-binding, it is a reversal of the progress the prime minister made two weeks ago when she secured a majority in parliament for a new Brexit motion.

The latest defeat will leave EU officials in Brussels ever more uncertain in their belief that May will be able to deliver a smooth and salvageable Brexit and will leave them less inclined to offer her more concessions to her deal.

Theresa May is attempting to renegotiate her failed Brexit deal with the EU to ensure that it is approved by parliament. The EU, however, have stated that the deal is not up for renegotiation and will not revisit the backstop agreement.

May is to return to parliament later this month and make a statement to the House of Commons if she fails in formulating a new deal or renegotiating her failed one.

Through a series of votes earlier this month, MPs have signalled they are not in favour of a no-deal Brexit. Though, it is not clear what majority of Brexit, soft or hard, there is in parliament.

The U.K. is set to officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

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