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The British Parliament made it clear that it does not want the UK to leave the European Union (EU) without prior agreement.
The possibility of the so-called “hard Brexit” was rejected Wednesday by the parliamentarians in a vote held in the House of Commons.
By 321 votes in favor and 278 against, the deputies supported the amended motion of the government of Theresa May, which extends the rejection of the United Kingdom leaving the EU without a prior agreement not only on March 29, as scheduled, but at any time and under any circumstance.
However, the vote is not legally binding and does not prevent the abrupt departure of the United Kingdom, as recalled by the Prime Minister.
May warned that, “by default”, the legislation indicates that if some kind of agreement is not reached, a hard Brexit will be produced in a matter of 16 days.
And is that the vote on Wednesday came just a day after the agreement negotiated by the prime minister with European leaders was rejected a second time in the British Parliament.
“The options before us are the same as always ,” May said.
The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, again called for the convening of general elections after the vote.
A new vote
The session on Wednesday was certainly confusing due to amendments and other motions submitted to a vote on the same issue, according to the BBC journalists present in the Chamber.
Among the initiatives presented, parliamentarians also rejected by a large majority the so-called Malthouse compromise, which called for delaying the break with the EU until May 22 so that the country prepares for a non-negotiated exit.
After backing the government’s initiative to avoid a hard Brexit, parliamentarians will now have the possibility to vote if they want the United Kingdom to ask for postponement of the EU’s exit.
That new vote will be held on Thursday , May 14 , announced May.
If the motion to delay the break is approved and the EU member states agree, the United Kingdom would not leave the bloc on March 29, as scheduled.
Then a brief extension or a longer one could take place , depending on whether parliamentarians support the agreement negotiated by May with Brussels “in the coming days,” the prime minister said.
That means that the executive could try, for the third time, that the agreement reached with the European leaders be approved by the Parliament for March 20, after two defeats.
The British government warned on Wednesday that, should a longer extension be required, the UK would be required to participate in the European Parliament elections to be held at the end of May.
” I do not think that’s the best scenario. But the CAMARA must face the consequences of their own decisions , ” May said.
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In any case, for the postponement to occur, the EU Member States must agree unanimously.
And for that they made clear their requirement: that London make clear what it will do with that extension.
“There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without agreement, the EU is prepared for both (scenarios),” said a spokesman for the European Commission.
“It is not enough to vote against the exit without an agreement: you have to approve an agreement, we have reached an agreement with the prime minister and the EU is ready to sign it .”