UK parliament OKs Brexit amendment on replacing Irish backstop
Iran Press TV
Wed Jan 30, 2019 03:22AM
British lawmakers have voted on seven amendments to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal with the European Union, calling for alternatives to the contentious Irish backstop plan and pushing to avoid a no-deal exit.
The majority of lawmakers at the British parliament approved May's so-called plan B with some amendments on Tuesday.
The parliament backed with 317 votes to 301 a call to urge the British premier to return to Brussels and secure a new deal without the backstop plan, which is designed to ensure that there will not be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
British MPs also voted 318 to 301 in favor of a non-binding proposal that called on the government to rule out leaving the EU without a deal.
"There is a limited appetite for change in the EU, and negotiating it won't be easy," May said after the vote.
Five other amendments, including a Labour Party's bid to delay Brexit if May fails to get her deal through parliament, were defeated.
"After months of refusing to take the chaos of no deal off the table, the prime minister must now face the reality that no deal is not an option," said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
With a majority of members rejecting the Irish backstop, May currently faces the challenge of attempting to convince the EU leaders in Brussels to renegotiate the 2017 agreement.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had reportedly told May earlier in the day that he would not budge on his refusal to renegotiate.
May said after a historic defeat in the House of Commons on January 15 that if the lawmakers in the chamber fail to endorse a revised version of her Brexit agreement in the coming weeks, she would have no option but to bring the UK out of the EU on March 29 in a disorderly manner.
Many have warned that a hard Brexit could lead to acute shortage of food and medicine in the UK and cause unrest. The British military has also announced that it has troops on standby to deploy on the streets if such riots happen as a result of no-deal Brexit.
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