March 29, 2019 / 3:03 PM / 8 months ago

May's statement following Brexit defeat

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the EU for the third time by 344 to 286 votes.

Following is the statement May made to parliament after the vote:

“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.

The implications of the House’s decision are grave.

The legal default now is that the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 12 April. In just 14 days’ time.

This is not enough time to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal, and yet the House has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal.

And so we will have to agree an alternative way forward.

The European Union has been clear that any further extension will need to have a clear purpose and will need to be agreed unanimously by the heads of the other 27 Member States ahead of 12 April.

It is also almost certain to involve the UK being required to hold European Parliamentary elections.

On Monday, this House will continue the process to see if there is a stable majority for a particular alternative version of our future relationship with the EU.

Of course, all of the options will require the Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr Speaker, I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House.

This House has rejected no deal. It has rejected no Brexit. On Wednesday it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table.

And today it has rejected approving the Withdrawal Agreement alone and continuing a process on the future.

This Government will continue to press the case for the orderly Brexit that the result of the referendum demands.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison/Guy Faulconbridge

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