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May: British Parliament will vote on Brexit deal in 3 weeks

By
Ed Adamczyk
Brexit protesters hold EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 12. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Brexit protesters hold EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 12. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday there will be a vote in British Parliament in three weeks on whether the country should move ahead with her plan to leave the European Union.

May survived a no-confidence vote brought by her own Conservative Party last week over the negotiated arrangement her government reached with the European Commission to leave the European Union in March. She faces a deadlock in parliament, with not enough members approving the deal.

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A planned vote last week was scrapped because May didn't have enough parliamentary support for her plan.

"Many members of this house are concerned that we need to take a decision soon," May told British Parliament Monday. "We intend to return to the 'Meaningful Vote' debate in the week commencing seventh of January, and hold the vote the following week."

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Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labor Party, tabled a motion for another vote of confidence to take place in May, saying he opposed a vote that far in the future.

The Brexit deal is now complete, with the EU refusing to renegotiate it over the weekend, when May visited EU headquarters in Brussels. In November, EU leaders approved a deal for Britain. If it's approved by British lawmakers, the country will leave March 29. Some of May's ministers have suggested another referendum to possibly override the 2016 vote to leave the 28-member alliance. Others have proposed different scenarios for a separation.

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May said it's impossible to revoke Article 50 of the EU constitution, only to trigger it again months later. She cited a European Court of Justice ruling that revoking Article 50 indicates a decision to remain in the EU.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said the EU will accelerate preparations for the departure without a deal. The uncertainty is having an effect. Data released Monday indicated a drop in British consumer spending and declining real estate prices.

Fifty-three percent in a recent poll said they support a second Brexit referendum that asks for preference among three options. Thirty-six percent opposed it. Those figures are unchanged since May first announced a deal in November.

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