British lawmakers voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal for the UK to withdraw from the European Union for the third time on Friday.
The vote, with 286 Members of Parliament voting in favor of the deal and 344 opposing it, leaves the future of Britain’s membership in the EU in doubt. The same deal was previously rejected earlier in March as well as in January, marking the third time Theresa May’s brokered exit deal was defeated in the House of Commons. May took the unusual step of offering to resign as Prime Minister if the deal was passed, but this promise was not enough to garner the support of Parliament for the deal.
With Parliament’s rejection of the deal, a “no-deal” exit from the EU is now the most likely outcome. The UK was granted an extension to withdraw from the EU until May 22, contingent on the passage of Friday’s exit deal. However, with the rejection of the deal, Britain only has until April 12 before a “no-deal” Brexit occurs. The EU stated in a press release earlier this week that they had completed preparations for such a scenario, describing it as “not desirable.” With no agreed-to deal, after April 12 the UK will no longer be subject to any EU laws, privileges, or trade agreements, and relations between the two will be subject solely to international law. Such a situation could have a dramatic effect on trade and travel between the UK and the rest of the world.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn described the vote as a clear rejection of May’s deal by Parliament and called for her to resign immediately. “The House has been clear, this deal now has to change,” he said in a statement following the vote. “There has to be an alternative found.”