Brexit is Very Complex, Tearing Britain Apart

UK Parliament  Mark Duffy  Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS- THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

The House of Commons voted 314-312 against a call to postpone Britain's departure and rearrange Parliament's timetable so that lawmakers could try to find an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's rejected Brexit divorce deal.

If MPs vote against the deal once again, the government said the Brexit delay could be much longer and may force Britain to take part in European Parliament elections in May.

In essence, she is now framing the choice for eurosceptics as her deal versus no Brexit (or a distant, softer Brexit), rather than the previous implicit choice of her deal versus a no-deal Brexit.

Even the Prime Minister's own Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, who opened Thursday's debate and commended the motion to the house, voted against it.

"The Prime Minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her", he said.

An amendment to hold indicative votes on the next steps in the Brexit process, which would have given MPs the opportunity to take control of Brexit, was also defeated by a mere two votes.

"Parliament will vote for extension, and extension leads to further delay, further confusion, and great risk of Brexit not happening at all", he wrote.

Brexiteers fear that if the United Kingdom does not leave on 29 March, with or without a deal, there is a strong likelihood that the process will drag on for years or even that Article 50 would be revoked.

A majority of parliamentarians are reportedly in favor of extending Article 50, which would in normal times see the motion voted through.

Brexit: MPs to vote on 29 March no-deal exit from EU
He added: "What needs to happen next is to rule out no deal , that would be a disaster for our country, and to seek an extension. Mrs May agreed but insisted her deal is a "good deal" and she wants the United Kingdom to leave with a good deal.

2 people from Redding killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash
But much more about Sunday's crash remains unclear - including crucial questions over what caused the jet to go down. On Monday, Comair seemingly caved in to public pressure and chose to remove its 737 Max from its flight schedule.

UK PM: Brexit vote to proceed as planned
On the other hand, the opposition Labour party, with its 247 MPs, is likely to reject May's proposal. The latest pact stressed the "legal force" and "binding character" of the withdrawal agreement.

It's yet another momentous week for Brexit, with the British parliament seeing a series of nail-biting votes.

The US is the UK's biggest trading partner outside of the European Union, with over £66bn ($87.4bn) worth of trade between the countries, according to the UK's Office for National Statistics.

"It will be for the European Council to consider such a request, giving priority to the need to ensure the functioning of EU institutions and taking into account the reasons for and duration of a possible extension", the European Commission said in a statement after the British parliament's vote.

"So it'll either be a no-deal now, or a change of plan from London, of which we see no sign at the moment", the official added.

A Brexit extension requires approval from all 27 remaining European Union member countries.

"There should be an overwhelming parliamentary majority to prevent a no-deal exit on March 29, which should lend some support to the pound", Morgan Stanley strategists said. Talks are ongoing with her DUP allies, who have 10 MPs, while Brexit hardliners - amounting about 68 MPs - show signs of splitting.

This incredible state of affairs has come to pass despite the Prime Minister having repeatedly promised that Article 50 would not be extended and that Brexit would be delivered "on time" - in line with her now long-abandoned mantra that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

"If, to get the votes for that, the PM has to promise that she will go after the withdrawal treaty is secure, to allow a new leader to reunite the country and oversee the next stage, she should". MPs voted on Wednesday to rule out leaving with no deal, but that vote isn't binding.

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