UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Members of Parliament (MPs) to delay the country’s exit from the European Union and take control of the process, after Prime Minister Theresa May lost two key votes on her EU withdrawal plan and a possible ‘no-deal’ exit in the House of Commons.
“Tonight this House has once again definitely ruled out no deal,” Corbyn said, after lawmakers voted 312-308 for an amendment that would stop May from exiting the EU on March 29 without a withdrawal agreement or future relationship framework.
The vote came after May’s plan to exit the European Union was also rejected with only 17 days before the Brexit due date.
“The PM said the choice was between her deal and no deal. In the last 24 hours Parliament has decisively rejected both her deal and no deal.”
“While an extension of Article 50 is now inevitable, responsibility for that extension lies solely and squarely at the Prime Minister’s door,” he said. “But extending Article 50 without a clear objective is not a solution. Parliament must now take control of the situation.”
Earlier in the day, British MPs also rejected another amendment that sought to delay Brexit until May 22 by extending the Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
Corbyn said he had ordered his shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer to hold cross-party talks to do what May had “failed to do two years ago” and find a “compromise solution that can command support in the House.”
“Let us, as a House of Commons, work now to find a solution to deal with the crisis facing the country and the deep concerns that many people have for their livelihood, for their lives, their future, their jobs, their communities and their factories,” he said.
“It’s up to us as the House of Commons to look for and find a solution to their concerns. That is what we were elected to do,” Corbyn added.
Labour MP Jess Phillips said she would support a 21-month extension of the Article 50 oto prolong the withdrawal process.
The MPs were expected to vote on an extension of the Article 50 on Thursday, potentially delaying Brexit until May or later. It should be noted that the votes are not legally binding and a no-deal Brexit on March 29 is still a possibilty unless the two sides reach a deal.
EU braces for no deal Brexit
Meanwhile, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, warned Tuesday that the EU was no longer interested in negotiating a new deal.
The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line. The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our “no-deal” preparations are now more important than ever before.
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) March 12, 2019
A European commission spokesman said the vote was not enough and London had to choose between a deal or a no deal exit.
“We take note of the votes in the House of Commons this evening,” the spokesman said. “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal – you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the prime minister, and the EU is ready to sign it.”
Source; Press TV