Brexit Withdrawal Deal Voted Against for the Third Time

No Clear Route for Brexit as EU says Brexit Withdrawal Deal is Not Negotiable

Mr. Steve Muscat Azzopardi | Published on 29 Mar 2019

Brexit Withdrawal Deal Voted Against for the Third Time-img

What may not come as a surprise to many, Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was voted down for a third time on what was meant to be the day the UK left the European Union. The British Parliament voted against the deal 344 to 286, with only 5 Labour Party Members of Parliament supporting May’s deal and 34 Conservative members voting against, two years after Theresa May triggered Article 50.  

EU calls Emergency Summit following Brexit Withdrawal Deal Vote

Reacting to the news, European Council President, Donald Tusk, called for an urgent EU summit on the 10th of April, just two days before the new date for Brexit following the request for a delay.  With no deal yet guaranteed, and the Parliament undecided on all the amendments proposed in Parliament last Wednesday, the future of Brexit remains uncertain. According to Theresa May, it is looking more likely that Britain will now participate in the EU elections later in May.
The EU is calling on the UK to agree on a way forward before the summit.  As Parliament is undecided, the options seem to be either a no-deal exit, which was voted against in Parliament several times, and most recently last Wednesday, or an extension of the Brexit date for longer than anticipated, possibly until the end of 2019. 

What’s Next for Brexit?

As with the first vote surrounding Theresa May’s deal, all cards are back on the table.  Should a no-confidence vote against the government be held and pass, another general election would take place.  Meanwhile, Independent MP Heidi Allen and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon strongly called for a second referendum, and the European Commission stated that a no-deal Brexit on the 12th April is now very likely as the Withdrawal Deal is non-negotiable. 

The Irish Backstop Stops Brexit Withdrawal Deal

This is the third time the British Parliament has been asked to vote for or against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, each time unsuccessful.  A major drawback to the deal has been what has been referred to as the Irish backstop – the 310-mile border between Northern Ireland and Republic Ireland - as well as disagreement over whether the UK should form a customs union with the E.U - an electoral promise that May made in her 2017 June election campaign in which she committed to leaving the customs union.   The backstop has brought major concerns of a hard border and the regeneration of violence, with fears of the Good Friday Agreement being undone.
Investors are also pessimistic, with the pound falling to its lowest in three weeks, and major companies based in the UK speaking out about concerns surrounding a no-deal Brexit.  As always with Brexit, a heavy air of uncertainty lingers in the atmosphere as leaders attempt to secure a way forward.

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