Britain votes down a "no-deal" Brexit

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 13, 2019 - Duration: 02:14s

Britain votes down a "no-deal" Brexit

British lawmakers have ruled out a "no-deal" Brexit, putting pressure on Theresa May to find a way out of the impasse.

But it's non-binding, and anyway, the EU has the final say.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Britain votes down a "no-deal" Brexit

Britain's parliament has rejected crashing out of the EU without a deal, at any time.

But it was non-binding, and doesn't mean it can't happen.

After Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed deal with the EU was crushed in parliament on Tuesday.

Launching Britain into uncharted waters just two weeks before it's due to quit the bloc.

An exhausted May told an unruly house Britain still has to find an alternative: SOUNDBITE (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "The legal default in UK and EU law remains that the UK will leave the EU without a deal unless something else is agreed.

The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.

The options before us are the same as they have always been." Now lawmakers will decide whether to delay Brexit.

That's Thursday's vote, in this week's parliamentary marathon.

If yes -- Britain will seek an extension to the negotiation period, or Article 50.

But the EU will have to agree.

And its Brexit negotiator is already asking: More time for what?

May will have to explain to Brussels how a few more months would do anything more than prolong the agony of this deeply divided country.

Despite this week's drama, all Brexit bets remain off.

With possible outcomes including a delay, a last-minute passing of May's deal, an accidental no-deal Brexit or another referendum.

Investors fear a no-deal Brexit would plunge the world's fifth-largest economy into turmoil.

So Wednesday's vote was expected.

But what passed was an amendment much tougher than the government's proposal.

Brussels says May's treaty -- which took two and a half years to negotiate -- is still the only one on the table.

But in Britain, it has found few friends.

Still, no one's ruling out May returning the deal to parliament -- hoping the spectre of all-out chaos might rally rattled lawmakers.

Perhaps even Brexiteers, who increasingly fear that Brexit is sliding out of reach.

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