May's Deal Crushed Again

GBP

British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.

MPs voted against May’s amended Brexit deal by 391 to 242 as her last-minute talks with EU chiefs on Monday to assuage her critics’ concerns ultimately proved fruitless.

MPs will now vote at 1900 GMT on Wednesday on whether Britain should quit the world’s biggest trading bloc without a deal, a scenario that business leaders warn would bring chaos to markets and supply chains, and other critics say could cause shortages of food and medicines.

The government had been expected to offer parliament the chance to press for a short extension, but announced on Tuesday night that it would be for parliament to decide on the length of the delay that the government would request.

This raised the possibility that it might ask to push the exit date past late May, when Britain would have to participate in European Parliament elections - a prospect that both sides have been keen to avoid.

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