The UK House of Commons on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to withdraw the country from the EU.
The plan was defeated by a margin of 230 votes, with 432 Members of Parliament [MPs] voting no and only 202 voting in the affirmative, marking the largest defeat for a sitting government proposal in the parliament’s history. The reasons behind the votes varied, with some MPs claiming for a softer break while others advocate a more definitive split from the EU.
The European Withdrawal Act of 2018 explicitly requires approval of any plan or agreement made between the UK government and EU negotiators. As such, the UK government cannot ratify any withdrawal agreement if the Commons does not pass such a motion, which is commonly referred to as the “meaningful vote.” The UK is still on track to leave the EU on March 29, but this defeat casts serious doubts on the manner and terms of such a departure.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party as well as leader of the UK government Opposition since 2015, has tabled a vote of no-confidence in the current government which is scheduled to be debated on Wednesday.