Brexit vote today: Britain's Parliament rejects Theresa May's Brexit deal

UK Prime Minister Theresa May in House of Commons 12 March 2019                  Reuters TV via REUTERS

While the approved motion has no legal force and ultimately may not prevent a no-deal exit after a possible delay, it carries considerable political force, especially as it demonstrated a substantial rebellion by members of Prime Minister Theresa May's own party. It was the largest defeat for a British government in Parliament in modern times.

The Independent says it is time for a second referendum on Brexit.

The, which included guarantees that the so-called Irish backstop will not be a permanent measure, received 242 votes in favor and 391 votes against, NU.nl reports.

"I profoundly regret the decision this House has taken tonight", Mrs May said after the defeat.

If a no-deal Brexit is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on whether to seek an extension to the departure process that would conclude its 46-year European Union membership.

Deal or no deal?

Theresa May has held out the prospect of a third "meaningful vote" on her EU Withdrawal Agreement within the next week after MPs dramatically voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was headed for defeat in a historic vote in parliament Tuesday, pitching Britain into the unknown just 17 days before it is scheduled to leave the European Union.

As May defended her deal with a hoarse voice at the Parliamentary dispatch box before the vote, she was heckled from the benches by calls of "nothing has changed" - a reference to a comment she herself had made after the disastrous 2017 election, which she had called intending to increase her authority going into Brexit negotiations, but in which her party instead lost its majority.

There are questions about whether May can survive the turmoil - and whether the deadlock can only be broken by a general election.

"The Prime Minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her".

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"The government has been defeated again by an enormous majority", opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Pro and anti-Brexit demonstrators start the day outside the Houses of Parliament in central London, January 15, 2019.

"No deal must be taken off the table".

"We have not given up the goal of an orderly exit", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "but yesterday's events mean the options have become narrower".

Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary who quit over Mrs May's tactics, said the premier's plan had "reached the end of the road".

May traveled to Strasbourg, France, Monday to work out changes to the agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Some MPs who voted against the deal in the first vote came out to back it but most opponents said their views had not changed after Mr Cox's intervention.

The three-part package of changes effectively aims to resolve a key sticking point for British MPs over the so-called backstop plan to keep open the border between European Union member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

It comes after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox warned that, while the PM's last-minute agreements with Brussels "reduce the risk" that the United Kingdom could be trapped indefinitely in the backstop, they do not remove it altogether.

However, the European Research Group's chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC after the vote, "The default legal position remains, as the Prime Minister pointed out, that we still leave on March 29th".

Sterling rallied more than half a percent, trading around $1.3150, on growing expectations that lawmakers would vote against no deal.

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