Withdrawal Agreement defeated for third time
The Withdrawal Agreement has been defeated for a third time in the House of Commons, losing by 344 votes to 286.
Unlike the two previous votes, this vote was not on the deal as a whole but only the Withdrawal Agreement, leaving out the political declaration. This means the result is not classified as a “meaningful vote.”
While the margin of 58 is lower than the two previous votes, this still marks a decisive loss for the government as the UK has now missed an EU deadline to secure an extension to the process.
This extension, contingent on the deal being agreed, would have meant that the UK would have left the European Union on 22 May.
Under the current circumstances, May now has until 12 April to try and agree a longer extension, which may last until Christmas or beyond, or the UK will leave with no-deal.
Reacting to the result, May warned that the vote would have “grave” implications and that the “legal default” was that the UK would leave the EU without a deal.
Donald Tusk, European Council President, swiftly tweeted: “In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April.”
May mentioned the further series of indicative votes that are to be held on Monday, but criticised the House for rejecting no-deal, no Brexit and “all the variations of the deal on the table.”
Her statement ended with her stressing that “This government will continue to press the case for the orderly Brexit that the result of the referendum demands.”