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Britain closer to election after Brexit deal defeat

Britain closer to election after Brexit deal defeat

MPs from British Prime Minister Theresa May's own conservative party urged her against a long extension of Brexit after her withdrawal deal was rejected for a third time on Friday, sending parliament into a political stalemate.

With no majority yet in the House of Commons for any of the Brexit options, there was speculation that an election could be called, though such a vote would be unpredictable and it is unclear who would lead the Conservatives into it.

I would like to make clear why I voted against the prime minister's Withdrawal Agreement, and I have made it clear that I intend to do so again if it comes back for a third time, unless there are significant changes.

Asked by BBC TV whether May would have to go back to the EU and negotiate for a customs union if parliament voted for it, Gauke said: "I think she would need to look very closely at that".

May has said she will step down if she manages to get her Brexit deal through parliament, paving the way for another leader to take charge of the next round of negotiations with Brussels about Britain's future ties to the bloc.

However, Conservative Party chairperson Brandon Lewis said the government did not support any of those options.

"The Remainers clearly want a customs union as an alternative but there isn't a majority for that in the party - it would destroy the [Tory] party", one ministerial source told The Telegraph.

Tom Brake, a Liberal Democrat MP, told Al Jazeera that while May's deal is "as dead as a dodo", he was confident Parliament would take the initiative on breaking the Brexit impasse next week.

"It's time to be bold, we need to embrace No Deal".

But to be clear, unlike Tory Brexiters, DUP MPs won't be terrified by the prospect of the United Kingdom staying in the customs union, because that would in practice turn the backstop they hate from putative trap into the bridge the EU always hoped it would be.

Lewis said, however, that seeking a customs union with the EU would be hard and would go against the result of the referendum and Conservative pledges before the 2017 national election.

"I find it extraordinarily odd that there are people who decided that the prime minister's deal was going to turn us into a vassal state and they voted against it".

"There are now a really limited range of options", Conservative deputy chair James Cleverly told Sky News.

Sir John said the best way forward is "not to wreck the British economy", the country's global reputation or constitutional relationships via a no-deal Brexit, adding the customs union and single market additions are the potential compromise.

Three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum, the process is deadlocked by a stand-off between the government and parliament.

Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in central London on March 27, 2019, after hearing the outcome of the indicative votes on the alternative options for Brexit.


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