Parliament Again Votes Down May’s Brexit Deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks after tellers announced the results of the Brexit vote in Parliament in London, England, March 12, 2019. (Reuters TV)

The U.K. Parliament defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal for the second time on Tuesday.

Members nixed the proposal in a 391–242 vote, a smaller margin than the 432–202 defeat it suffered in January. The move sets up another crucial vote on Wednesday, in which MPs will decide whether to move forward with Brexit on March 29 despite the lack of a Parliament-approved agreement between the U.K. and the E.U. The outcome of that vote could then prompt a vote to delay Brexit.

Conservative MPs, only 75 of whom voted against the plan this time after 118 of them voted against it in January, will be able to vote freely going forward, May promised.

“This is an issue of grave importance for the future of our country,” May said. “Just like the [abortion] referendum there are strongly held and equally legitimate views on both sides.”

The prime minister warned members from both sides of the aisle not to make the “perfect the enemy of the good.”

“The government has been defeated again by an enormous majority and it must accept its deal is clearly dead and does not have the support of this House,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party voted against the deal. “The prime minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her. Maybe it’s time instead we had a general election and the people can choose who their government should be.”

“I am passionate about delivering the result of the referendum, but I equally passionately believe that the best way to do that is to leave in an orderly way with a deal and I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action,” May said.

Opponents of Brexit have warned that leaving without a plan will throw Britain’s economy into turmoil, while backers have dismissed those concerns as exaggerated.

Most Popular

National Security & Defense

In Defense of the Iraq War

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict -- countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and ... Read More

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More