March 29, 2019 10:51 am
Updated: March 29, 2019 9:08 pm

U.K. lawmakers vote down Brexit deal for third time, leaving future in limbo

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the Parliament in London, Britain, March 29, 2019 in this screen grab taken from video.

Reuters TV via REUTERS

U.K. MPs voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to leave the European Union for a third time on Friday.

There were 286 votes in favour, which was 58 votes fewer than those against. Thirty-four MPs from May’s own party voted down her deal.

Now Britain faces a much longer delay, which would require a vote from the EU, or it will be leaving the bloc on April 12 without a deal.

May had promised to resign if her deal was passed. After the vote Friday, she said she would continue to fight for an “orderly Brexit.”

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European Council president Donald Tusk has called for an emergency meeting on April 10 in the wake of the vote, but officials from the European Commission warned a “no-deal” scenario is likely.

“The Commission regrets the negative vote in the House of Commons today,” officials said in a statement. “It will be for the UK to indicate the way forward before that date.”

“A ‘no-deal’ scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU… is now fully prepared for a ‘no-deal’ scenario at midnight on 12 April.”

The Commission also said divorce terms without the failed Withdrawal Agreement would be much worse.

“The benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a ‘no-deal’ scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option,” the statement read.

In a statement to MPs after the vote, May said the implications of the rejection were “grave.”

“On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I think it should be a matter of profound regret to every member of this House that once again we have been unable to support leaving the European Union in an orderly fashion,” she said.

“The implications of the House’s decision are grave.”

READ MORE: British Parliament says ‘nay’ to 8 different Brexit options

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said May should call for a general election in the wake of the vote.

On Monday, U.K. lawmakers are expected to vote on options for a new plan.

March 29 is when Britain was originally meant to leave the EU, but the date was delayed after U.K. MPs refused to support May’s plan.

European leaders warned that a no-deal Brexit is increasingly likely.

France’s Emmanuel Macron said that on April 12, “we will have to decide on the timeframe to implement (a no-deal exit) … and therefore we will accelerate the final phase of preparations.”

“The risk of a no-deal Brexit is very real,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters minutes after the vote in the British parliament.

“One of the two routes to an orderly Brexit seems now to be closed. This leaves only the other route, which is for the British to make clear what they want before April 12.”

Man attempts to climb Downing Street security gate the residence of the British Prime Minister

*with a file from Reuters

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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