British Parliament fails to adopt an alternative to May's Brexit deal

By Daniel Uria
The British Parliament failed to adopt an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
The British Parliament failed to adopt an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

April 1 (UPI) -- The British Parliament failed to select an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan on Monday.

The members of Parliament voted on four motions for leaving the European Union, but none gained the majority needed to be presented as an official alternative to May's exit plan with the bloc that has already been rejected three times.


None of the plans was legally binding, so the government wouldn't have been required to adopt any of them if they had secured a majority.

A plan to allow the public to have a vote on any withdrawal agreement received the most support out of all of the options, but was still defeated by a vote of 280-292.

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Former Chancellor Ken Clarke's proposal to form a permanent customs union, in which involved countries would agree not to impose tariffs on goods coming in from other countries in the union, came closest to reaching a majority with a vote of 273-276.

Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry's deal to allow Parliament to prevent Britain from leaving the EU on April 12 without a deal was defeated by a wide margin in a 191-292 vote.


Tory MP Nick Boles resigned from the Conservative Party after his proposal to institute a Norway-style Brexit deal that would allow Britain to remain in the EU single market and trade freely in exchange for allowing free movement of people was defeated 261-282.

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"I have failed, chiefly because my party fails to compromise," Boles said.

Later Boles tweeted he would maintain his seat in Parliament as an Independent Progressive Conservative.

Despite failing to reach a majority, each of the four deals received more support than May's deal, which was rejected for a third time by 58 votes on Friday.

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Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested Parliament should get multiple chances to have their proposals adopted, as May did.

"If it is good enough for the prime minister to have three chances at her deal, then I suggest it's possible the House should have a chance to consider again the options we had before us," he said.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the "only option" was to continue searching for a way to allow Britain to leave the EU with a deal.

"The government continues to believe that the best course of action is to do so as soon as possible," Barclay said. "If the House is able to pass a deal this week it may still be possible to avoid holding European elections."


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