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Brexit vote today: Britain's Parliament rejects Theresa May's Brexit deal

Brexit vote today: Britain's Parliament rejects Theresa May's Brexit deal

She said the assurances created an arbitration channel for any disputes on the backstop, "entrenches in legally-binding form" existing commitments that it will be temporary and binds the United Kingdom and European Union to starting work on replacing the backstop with other arrangements by December 2020.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said that Brexit should be completed before the European elections which take place between May 23 and 26.

But if there is a no-deal Brexit, things are a lot more uncertain - the Government has been ramping up preparations to try to prevent shortages of food and medicine amid fears that increased bureaucracy will clog up key ports where goods arrive from the Continent.

Events over the next two days will have a major impact on how, when - and if - the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

If her deal is rejected, lawmakers will be able to vote on Wednesday and Thursday on whether they want to leave the bloc without a deal or ask for a delay to Brexit beyond March 29 - all but wresting control of Brexit from the government.

"Given that nearly two months after the first vote was comprehensively rejected there has been pretty scant progress made, this suggests that it will take more than a small tweak on this deal to gain the support required to passed".

The EU, which had warned there would be no more changes or negotiations if Parliament threw out the deal, expressed exasperation at yet another Brexit crisis.

When MPs voted on the deal in January, 432 voted against, but 202 voted in favour.

The Prime Minister's de facto deputy David Lidington gave the update to MPs as Mrs May and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay were meeting with European Union leaders.

The impasse has raised fears of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit that could mean major disruption for businesses and people in Britain and the 27 remaining European Union countries.




British lawmakers, who on January 15 voted 432-202 against her deal, were studying the assurances with lawyers.

And he said the "joint instrument" reflects the commitment to "replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020".

But he will hang on to see if the issues with the backstop - the main sticking point over the deal, the measure to ensure the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland remains open - can be resolved.

"Now is the time to come together to back this improved Brexit deal and deliver on the instruction of the British people", May said.

Mr Lidington added the Attorney General would be publishing advice ahead of Tuesday's debate, but needed time to consider the new changes.

The UK leave is scheduled for 29 March, but it is less than certain if the date will be respected.

It is nearly certain that an unchanged withdrawal agreement would be defeated in the Commons, with a large eurosceptic faction of the Conservative party itself and the Demo¬cratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government, all set to say nay.

The magic number of MPs the prime minister needs to back her deal is 318 - that is if everyone who can vote does so.

Leading Conservatives have told May she should pull the meaningful vote unless she secures major concessions from the EU.

On the other hand, the opposition Labour party, with its 247 MPs, is likely to reject May's proposal.

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