January 8, 2019 / 7:09 PM / 6 months ago

UK government defeated in vote, MPs create new obstacle to no-deal Brexit

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to attend a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government suffered a defeat in parliament on Tuesday when MPs who oppose leaving the European Union without a deal won a vote on creating a fresh obstacle to a no-deal Brexit.

The 303 to 296 defeat means that the government will need explicit parliamentary approval to leave the EU without a deal before it can use certain powers relating to taxation law. May’s office had earlier downplayed the technical impact of defeat.

The defeat also highlights May’s weak position as leader of a divided party just days before she is due to hold a pivotal vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU.

Reporting by William James, Editing by Paul Sandle

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