Parliament rules out no-deal Brexit in non-binding vote

Theresa May.
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images )

It was a chaotic series of events at Westminster on Wednesday, as the British Parliament ultimately agreed to rule out a no-deal Brexit after three separate votes.

The first vote resulted in a much narrower outcome than Tuesday's lopsided vote to strike down Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement: British parliament decided on Wednesday to rule out a "no-deal" Brexit at any point by a mere four votes — 312 to 308.

Members of Parliament also voted on Wednesday to reject the Malthouse Amendment, which called on the government to pursue a "managed" no-deal on May 22. That is, a withdrawal from the EU without a legitimate agreement, but one that allowed for a grace period to minimize disruption. There was a much clearer majority in this motion, with "no" votes tallying 374, to just 164 in favor.

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The final vote was essentially a re-run of the first vote in light of the amendment vote. While the overall result remained the same, the defeat was much clearer with the margin rising to 43.

Wednesday's votes, it's worth noting, are not legally binding — the U.K. could very well still leave the European Union without a deal, unless separate legislation is passed, The Guardian reports. Instead it means that MPs will now have the opportunity to, you guessed it, vote again tomorrow, which May confirmed. That vote will be to see whether article 50, which currently triggers the U.K.'s departure on March 29, will be delayed, though the EU will also have to agree to the extension.

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