UK Parliament rejects May’s Brexit deal for third time

World Today

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, top center, speaks at a rally in Parliament Square after the final leg of the “March to Leave” in London, Friday, March 29, 2019. The protest march which started on March 16 in Sunderland, north east England, finishes on Friday March 29 in Parliament Square, London, on what was the original date for Brexit to happen before the recent extension. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has failed in her last gasp bid to win parliamentary support for her Brexit deal with the European Union.

Britain was scheduled to officially leave the EU Friday, but a failure by politicians to agree on terms for its departure means the country has dramatically missed the Brexit deadline.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports on the failure of Brexit Day and its consequences.

On the streets outside Parliament, angry crowds gathered as news of Brexit’s latest defeat spread. There was a feeling of betrayal among many.

Inside, this last throw of the parliamentary dice for May’s deal was, in the words of the prime minister, a chance to save Brexit.

“Approving the withdrawal agreement today avoids a cliff edge in two weeks’ time,” May said. “It avoids European elections, it avoids a long extension which would at least delay and could destroy Brexit.”

When defeat came, May described it as a matter of profound regret and the implications grave.

“I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House,” May said.

From the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, offers to the U.K. of a free trade ‘customs union.’ But also recognition of a stark and possibly imminent alternative.

“Let me be frank, ladies and gentlemen. Without a positive choice, the default option will be a no deal, which has become more likely,” warned Michel Barnier. “It was never our scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared.”

The country now has just two weeks to come up with an alternative and members of Parliament will gather again on Monday when they’ll take control of the Brexit agenda and try to stitch together their own alternative compromise. 

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