Published: Tue, December 11, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

UK's PM May pulls parliamentary vote on Brexit deal

UK's PM May pulls parliamentary vote on Brexit deal

"We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the House at this time".

It was a new blow for May, who became prime minister after Britain's 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU.

Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that May's government will make a last-minute move to cancel Brexit, since doing so would be political suicide. Supporters say it frees Britain to trade more widely with the rest of the world; opponents fear it will divide the West as it grapples with the unconventional presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

But she insisted that there was "no deal available that does not include the backstop".

Voters across the United Kingdom backed leaving the European Union by a vote of 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent in a referendum that was held on June 23, 2016.

In November, he said that if May's deal was shot down in the Commons Britain would be left with either a 'no deal or no Brexit at all'.

"We don't have a functioning government", opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

If the government succeeds in putting off the vote it might not happen until January, which would add to fears that the United Kingdom could pass the March 29 Brexit deadline without a Brexit deal, which the government has warned would result in severe economic damage.

Scottish nationalists pledged to support a vote to bring the government down.

Anti-Brexit protesters use illuminated signs as they demonstrate with placards outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster on December 10, 2018 in London.

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However the Speaker of the House John Bercow said he had heard many MPs complain about the prospect of delaying the vote after more than three days of debates and contributions.

However, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said it was not possible to renegotiate the Irish border backstop proposal without "opening up all aspects" of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Another potential obstacle, however, is that Britain would have to continue paying large amounts of money into the European Union budget which would prove hugely unpopular.

May has repeatedly said the government will not seek to delay or reverse Brexit. "We had a people's vote, let's deliver on the first people's vote". They also argue the United Kingdom could not unilaterally pull out of the arrangement and that it has no time limit.

May would remain prime minister in the meantime, but without much authority as the clock ticks down to March 29, the day Britain officially is due to leave the EU.

May's domestic critics want a time limit on the backstop, but Dublin and its EU allies insist that it must be able to be used until some better way is found to avoid customs checks on the EU-UK land border while letting Britain escape EU rules.

In shambolic scenes, news of the U-turn came just 24 minutes after Downing Street confirmed the vote was going ahead.

"It cannot be right that the government can unilaterally alter the arrangements", said Mr Corbyn, who earlier accused Mrs May of "losing control of events".

The timing of the ruling on the eve of the British parliamentary vote was no coincidence - the court said it had ruled with unprecedented haste to ensure that British lawmakers would understand their options.

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