Britain closer to election after Brexit deal defeat

Britain closer to election after Brexit deal defeat

The two most popular options were a new EU-UK customs union or a public vote on any agreed deal, both backed by Labour.

After May's plan suffered three defeats in Parliament, and with Britain due to leave the European Union on April 12, lawmakers seized temporary control of the parliamentary agenda to try to find a way forward.

This can be seen as a much softer Brexit than hardline Brexiters would be satisfied with, but would solve the need for many checks at the Irish border.

Two of the options aim to keep close economic ties between Britain and the bloc after Brexit.

The prominent Remainer, who remains an MP for the time being, clashed with his local Conservative Party over Brexit.

A longer delay beyond May 22 would have the freaky outcome of Britain having to hold European Parliament elections like other member states.

"I don't think it is ideal, I would prefer a Conservative government with a clear majority".

Monday's votes in Parliament follow an earlier round last week in which none of the eight Brexit options on offer secured a majority. But a big shift by the Labour Party and other political maneuvering may change the math on Monday evening.

Theresa May has been warned by one of her senior ministers that she can not afford to ignore the will of parliament if it unites around a "softer" Brexit.

The Conservative Party is open revolt.

The United Kingdom was due to leave the European Union on March 29 but the political deadlock in London forced May to ask the bloc for a delay. Hardline Brexiteers and those ministers pushing for a softer Brexter are both threatening to resign if they don't get their way.

The parliamentary vote takes place after the petition calling on the British government to halt Brexit and revoke Article 50 passed six million signatures on Sunday morning.

May is also facing mass calls from her own MPs to quit immediately as leader of the party - and country - rather than wait until the divorce phase of Brexit has been resolved, as promised.

The letter, signed by 170 members of the Prime Minister's party, called on her to bring her deal back to Parliament for a fourth vote, with the threat of a general election if it is rejected again, the newspaper said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the House of Commons in London, March 29, 2019.

This appears an empty threat by a weakened party leader.

"This petition has been supported by an unprecedented number of people, although it's not surprising because we live in unprecedented times", Catherine McKinnell, an opposition Labour lawmaker, said as she introduced the debate.

In that environment, it's hard to see Conservatives helping to provide the two-thirds majority required for a general election.

Airline chiefs said last month that while carriers will be able to withstand the impact of Britain leaving the European Union, even without a deal, the lack of political progress is frustrating and has dampened consumer demand.

The government has so far failed to win over 34 Conservative rebels, including both Remainers as well as Tory Brexiteers, who say the deal still leaves the United Kingdom too closely aligned to Europe.

Chief executive John Lundgren said: "We are operationally well prepared for Brexit".

EasyJet said the results were in line with expectations, but that its outlook for the second half was now more cautious owing to macroeconomic uncertainty and unanswered questions around Brexit. But it could control European immigration.

A common UK-EU Customs Union would allow businesses to move goods around the EU without tariffs but its membership would bar the UK from striking independent trade deals after Brexit with other countries.

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