WITH just over two weeks to go until the Brexit deadline, the British Parliament voted on Wednesday to rule out leaving the European Union without a deal.
The government had put forward a motion to rule out no deal on March 29, the current deadline. The motion was amended and MPs narrowly voted in favour of ruling out no deal under all circumstances, with 312 votes in favour and 308 against Aljazeera reported.
The amendment is not legally binding, and a version of it was passed in January.
The vote does not rule out no deal altogether.
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A deal or another alternative needs parliament’s approval, but no deal has been the default position since Article 50 of the EU treaty – setting the rules for leaving the block – was triggered.
MPs also voted down an amendment which resurrected elements of the “Malthouse compromise’ for a “managed no deal”, supported by prominent Brexiters. The amendment also includes a delay to May 22 for preparations.
Similar plans have been rejected by the EU over 18 months of negotiations.
Today’s vote took place as a result of yet another major defeat for prime minister Theresa May on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, when she lost a second “meaningful vote” by a margin of 149.
Fears that a no deal Brexit could have serious consequences for the UK economy and its citizens in the EU, as well as EU citizens in the UK, have increased since May’s deal was first voted down last January. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular have admitted they’re not ready for a no-deal scenario.