British Lawmakers Voting on New Brexit Plans
By Ken Bredemeier March 27, 2019
The British parliament is voting Wednesday on new Brexit plans to split from the European Union after twice overwhelmingly rejecting the deal offered by Prime Minister Theresa May.
The House of Commons is planning a five-hour debate on several plans, with lawmakers being asked to vote for any of the proposals they can accept. The intention then is to hold a second vote next Monday on the most popular plans in the hope that one can win majority support.
Wednesday's debate is occurring two days after the parliamentarians wrested control over the Brexit debate from the government.
May says she will consider support for other plans as "indicative votes," but has refused to say she will adhere to the result.
There are 16 options under consideration, including proposals for leaving the 28-nation EU without details of a departure in place, remaining in the EU and holding a new nationwide referendum on the issue.
Britons voted nearly three years ago to leave the EU, but as Friday's scheduled departure date grew near, so did turmoil over terms of the deal May negotiated with EU leaders. The contention centered on trade and the border line between EU member Ireland and London-controlled Northern Ireland, which local residents routinely cross daily without stopping.
Last week, the EU said that if Parliament approves the deal it has negotiated with the British government, Brexit would occur May 22. If not, Britain has until April 12 to say what it plans to do.
May is hopeful to put her plan up for another vote, but it was rejected by 230 votes in January and by 149 votes earlier this month.
Pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party have called for her resignation, but she has resisted.
"It is my sense of responsibility and duty that has meant I have kept working to ensure Brexit is delivered," she said.
Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn contended that May is "unable to compromise and unable to reunite the country." He said May must "either listen and change course or go."
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