Theresa May loses yet another Brexit vote

With 391 votes against and 242 in favour, the UK parliament will now vote on whether it should leave the EU without an agreement
 

The latest Brexit withdrawal deal negotiated by UK Prime Minister Theresa May was rejected by the UK parliament on Tuesday by a margain of 149 votes. There were 391 votes against and 242 votes in favour.

Addressing parliament following the vote, a hoarse May said she profoundly regretted the decision taken by parliament, adding that the deal she had negotiated was the best and only one available.

May said that parliament would vote on Wednesday regarding whether the UK was to leave without an agreement.

Earlier May urged MPs to back her new and “improved” Brexit deal, or risk “no Brexit at all”.

Despite May’s assertions, leading Brexit advocates within her party, as well as their coalition partners the Democratic Unionist Party, have both rejected the deal, insisting that May’s deal did not give sufficient assurance that the UK will not be permanently tied to the EU.   

“Sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time,” the DUP said in a statement before tonight’s vote.

May called on MPs to “come together” and prove that democracy came before “party, faction or personal ambition”.

She said MPs could not serve the country by overturning decision by the British people.

In a tweet during the debate, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said that from Tuesday’s debate he had concluded that “there seems to be a dangerous illusion that the UK can benefit from a transition in the absence of the withdrawal agreement”.

“Let me be clear: the only legal basis for a transition is the withdrawal agreement. No withdrawal agreement means no transition.”

May had hoped that her new deal would be accepted by MPs and though a number of Conservatives who had previously voted against her deal, pledged to vote in favour of it this time round, several other Brexiteers responded to doubts raised by UK attorney-general Geoffrey Cox who said Britian faced an “unchanged risk” of being trapped in the so-called backstop to avoid a hard Irish border.  

The backstop is a measure intended to make sure that the Irish border remains open whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

Maltese government should be fully prepared - PN

In a statement, the Nationalist Part said that Tuesday’s vote in the UK's Parliament was “very worrying”.

“The UK is set to leave the EU on March 29th next. It is not good news for Malta, and it is not good news for neither Europe nor the UK,” the PN said. “Hope is the last thing to die, and tomorrow's vote in the House of Commons gives us hope that the UK won't crash out of the EU without a deal.”

It said  tomorrow’s vote in the House of Commons was an opportunity for UK MPs to have their say on whether the UK should leave without a deal.

“In as much as today's vote was pivotal, tomorrow's vote could be a game-changer, as this would impede the UK from leaving the EU without a deal,” the PN said, adding that a no-deal Brexit could have lasting effects even on Malta.

“This is why the Nationalist Party has insisted time and time again in Parliament and outside, that the Maltese Government should be fully prepared for such an eventuality.”

The PN concluded by saying that it had been approached by the association of Maltese citizens living in Scotland – roughly 9,800 people - informing it that the Maltese government had not, over the past months, reached out to them to inform them about their rights and obligations in a no-deal scenario.

“Despite our insistence to do so, the Maltese Government has not taken any action so far in this regard,” the PN said. “These are Maltese citizens and they deserve immediate assistance from the Maltese Government before it is too late.”

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