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May 23, 2019

British PM Theresa May trying to save Brexit deal after Parliament votes to ask for delay

March 15, 2019
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing St. in London on Thursday. (Tim Ireland / AP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May worked Friday to persuade Parliament to support her European Union divorce deal — yet again. The deal has resoundingly been defeated twice.


May is expected to spend the next few days speaking with opponents in her Conservative Party and its parliamentary allies about the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Her last-ditch efforts come just after Britain’s House of Commons voted 413-202 Thursday to ask the EU to delay the country’s exit. By law, Britain must leave the EU on March 29 with or without a deal, unless it cancels Brexit or secures a delay from the EU.

The country’s departure could result in major disruptions for businesses and residents in both the U.K. and 27 remaining EU countries.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit had “diminished” with Thursday’s votes.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May laughs during the Brexit debate in the House of Commons, London on March 14, 2019.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May laughs during the Brexit debate in the House of Commons, London on March 14, 2019. (UK Parliament/Mark Duffy via AP)

May’s withdrawal deal lays out the terms of Britain’s departure and the outline of the country’s future relations with the EU. Yet generating support for the agreement has proved to be difficult.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers in May’s Conservative Party believe it will keep the country too closely bound to the bloc’s rules and regulations, while Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party thinks the agreement that there will be no customs checks or other obstacles between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit could weaken the bond between that region and the rest of the U.K.

The deal was rejected by 230 votes in Parliament in January and 149 votes this week.

May is expected to hold another Parliament vote on her Brexit deal before Wednesday. The next day, she plans to attend an EU summit in Brussels, where she will formally ask the bloc for a Brexit extension.

If her deal is approved, May will ask for a delay until June 30 to give time for Parliament to pass the legislation needed for Britain’s EU exit.

With News Wire Services

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