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Brexit: UK’s Theresa May loses crucial vote on EU divorce deal

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British MPs have rejected the government’s Brexit divorce deal, handing Prime Minister Theresa May a fresh defeat in her battle to steer the UK out of the European Union.
MPs voted by 344 to 286 on Friday against the withdrawal agreement, a stripped-down version of the twice-defeated deal that May agreed with the EU.
The result means that the UK is now set to leave the bloc on April 12 without a deal, unless the government negotiates an extension to the country’s departure date with Brussels.
Addressing Parliament after the vote, May said it was a matter of “profound regret” that the deal failed and that the “implications of this decision are grave”, noting that the UK would now leave the bloc on April 12 by legal default.
“I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House,” May said.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour party, said the prime minister should resign and also called for a general election as a way to break the Brexit deadlock.
“The House has been clear. This deal now has to change, there has to be an alternative found. If the prime minister can’t accept that, then she must go.”
The government brought Friday’s vote in the hopes that it could find majority support if MPs only voted on the withdrawal agreement, rather than the overall Brexit package negotiated with the EU, which also includes a political declaration that outlines plans for the UK’s future relationship with the the bloc.
But only a handful of opposition Labour legislators switched to back the deal, while dozens of May’s Conservative party MPs voted against the government, along with 10 MPs from the Norther Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which props up the government, leading to a sizeable loss for May.
Reporting from London, Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan said the result was not a surprise.
“This defeat today was not unexpected, the numbers simply were not there,” he said.
Aljazeera

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The Kabul Times.