Published: Tue, April 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

British MPs launch "last ditch" attempt to avert no-deal Brexit

British MPs launch

Tories also narrowly resisted entreaties to back a customs union motion proposed by former chancellor Ken Clarke - rejected by a margin of just three votes - and a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal, an option which fell short of a majority by only 12.

None got a majority, but the votes revealed a solid block of support for a "soft Brexit" that would maintain close economic ties between Britain and the EU.

"I have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise", Boles added, announcing that he was quitting the Conservatives to sit as an independent in Parliament.

MPs also declined to back a separate bid by the SNP MP Joanna Cherry to allow parliament to prevent a no-deal Brexit, on April 12.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be chairing a crucial meeting of senior ministers on Tuesday to seek a way out of the Brexit deadlock as the European Union warns a no-deal departure is growing more likely by the day.

And she retained this position in the 2017 Conservative Party's manifesto, which states that "as we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union". "The only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is, and will be, through a positive majority".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May visits a joinery factory in London, Britain, August 3, 2016.

Cabinet ministers were once again instructed to abstain on all indicative votes.

Barnier said that, even if there were no deal, Brussels would insist that the United Kingdom honor its obligations on citizens' rights, a financial settlement, and the Irish border. If that were to occur, it would create a highly uncertain leadership race for the prime ministership that could split the party and cause an election.

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May will convene a meeting of her Cabinet on Tuesday, likely to last five hours, to hash out a plan.

The Times newspaper said May had been warned by some senior ministers that she faced resignations if she agreed to pursue a softer Brexit and now several lawmakers say they can only see a general election as offering a pathway to a solution - something May, so far, has ruled out.

Supporters of the so called Norway-plus plan believe most of those Labour MPs will now back the proposal, ...

Elsewhere, the BBC's John Pienaar said Theresa May's cabinet has considered plans to "ramp up" no-deal Brexit preparations. "I am confident that the prime minister's deal would win the day". "MPs aren't quite sure on that, particularly MPs in the Conservative party, who really want that control and that ability to make trade deals with the rest of the world". May has invited those MPs who switched sides in favour of her deal to meet her, in the latest attempt to shore up support.

Almost three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a shock referendum result, May's exit strategy is up in the air as her government and party are still squabbling over how, when or even if Brexit should happen. The Brexit crisis has left the United Kingdom divided: supporters of both Brexit and European Union membership marched through London last week.

MPs would have to vote Wednesday to pave the way for a full debate in the House of Commons.

On Monday, Parliament was scheduled to first discuss the more than 6 million citizens who signed an online petition to cancel Brexit, making it the most popular petition ever hosted on Parliament's website.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said leaving the bloc without a deal was "not the responsible thing for a government to do".

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