Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The British Parliament voted Tuesday to send Prime Minister Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate Britain's exit from the European Union.
The lawmakers voted 317-301 in favor of a proposal calling for May to negotiate the status of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland once Britain's departure from the EU has been completed.
Members of Parliament also voted 318310 to reject following through with the planned exit from the EU without a deal on March 29.
After the vote, the EU said there was no chance of reopening the withdrawal agreement, which May signed in November.
"There is limited appetite for such a change in the EU and negotiating it will not be easy," May told Parliament. "But in contrast to a fortnight ago, this House has made clear what it needs to agree a deal."
May asked lawmakers to give her a mandate to return to Belgium so she can reopen talks with the EU on the issue.
The prime minister spoke before British lawmakers Tuesday, frustrated by her inability to win approval for her withdrawal agreement ahead of the scheduled departure in 60 days. The lawmakers tried to force clarity on the deal.
The renegotiation would involve one of the most contentious parts of her deal, which is whether Britain's exit would mark the return of a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland, called a "backstop."
A "backstop" is a temporary measure that allows the border to stay open in the event the United Kingdom and European Union fail to reach a free trade deal. However, critics fear it could indefinitely isolate Northern Ireland.
"Even if the proposals were remotely workable, they would be disastrous for our country," the People's Vote, a British campaign group calling for a second referendum on Brexit, said in a briefing Tuesday. "It would jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland, threaten jobs and key industries, alienate our allies, and serve only as a basis for the dangerous economic plans favored by hardline Brexiters."
Ireland's European minister, Helen McEnteee, said in a tweet Tuesday restarting "backstop" talks is not a good idea.
"There can be no change to the backstop," she wrote. "It was negotiated over 18 months with the U.K. and by the U.K. A bit of realism is needed at this stage."
U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned Tuesday a no-deal exit could hurt both Europe and Britain.
"The possibility of a no-deal Brexit in which the U.K. exits the EU without an agreement remains," Coats told the Senate intelligence committee in a hearing on global threats. "This would cause economic disruptions that would substantially weaken the U.K. and Europe."