British Prime Minister Theresa May has pushed back a final vote on her Brexit deal to later in the week. May admitted that she did not have “sufficient support” to vote on it today, per BBC News.
After meeting with European Union leaders in Brussels last week, May successfully negotiated an extension of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union until May 22, conditional on Parliament passing her proposed Brexit deal this week. However, given the fact that May’s deal had already been rejected twice by the House of Commons — including a first defeat by 230 votes, the greatest margin in parliamentary history — she is facing a steep uphill climb to get the deal passed in order to successfully extend Brexit.
In a speech to Parliament, May addressed the challenges while maintaining her resolve to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible.
“I continue to believe the right path forward is for the United Kingdom to leave the EU as soon as possible with a deal, now on the 22 of May. But it is with great regret that I have had to conclude that as things stand, there is still not sufficient support in the House to bring back the deal for a third meaningful vote. I continue to have discussions with colleagues across the House to build support so we can bring the vote forward this week and guarantee Brexit.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said she intends to bring her battered plan for leaving the European Union to Parliament for a third time this week https://t.co/jbga1Hq8Oa
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 25, 2019
While her goal remains getting the deal on the house floor later this week, it’s still uncertain whether or not she can rally much more support in so short a time frame. Parliament is currently debating allowing a series of indicative votes on alternatives to May’s plan, a proposal which the Prime Minister will order her Conservative Party MPs to vote down.
May stated the government would “engage constructively” with MPs, but criticized the idea of votes potentially leading to results that would be “un-negotiable with the EU” She added that “no government could give a blank check to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is.”
With no clear consensus emerging in Parliament — and with time rapidly running out — the United Kingdom is nearing closer to the cliff edge of a no-deal Brexit. May specifically warned MPs that the “default outcome” continues to be leaving the European Union without a deal.
The United Kingdom will currently exit the EU on Friday, March 29, though May has indicated her intent to pass another piece of legislation that would extend the deadline until April 12 at the earliest. Any longer delay would force Britain to participate in European Parliament elections three years after voting to leave the EU, an outcome May and fellow Brexiteers have repeatedly decried.