+++ Brexit: UK Parliament votes against withdrawal deal — live updates +++ | News | DW | 29.03.2019
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+++ Brexit: UK Parliament votes against withdrawal deal — live updates +++

On the day the UK should have left the EU, British MPs have voted for a third time against parts of Theresa May's Brexit deal by a majority of 58. DW has the latest developments.

The House of Commons has voted against the government's motion for the divorce bill, citizens’ rights and the Irish backstop by 344 votes to 286, a majority of 58 votes. 

Britain must present another plan or leave the EU without a deal in place on April 12. 

The government's options are being described as:

  • Asking the EU for a long Brexit extension, and allowing Parliament to decide how the future relationship should be.
  • Listening to what Parliament decides in another round of "indicative votes" on Monday and deciding on what to do — perhaps including a general election.
  • Revoking Article 50, with a deadline of "right before midnight" on April 12, as tweeted by Martin Selmayr of the European Commission.
  • Allowing a No-deal exit in April

Refresh the page for live updates. All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

15:17 The European Commission tweeted: "No-deal" scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario," adding that the benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement would not be replicated under such circumstances:

14:54 European Council President Donald Tusk has called a meeting for 10 April to discuss Brexit:

14:50 Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the "Commons will now return on Monday to find a way forward."

14:48 Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister should call a general election if she was not willing to change her deal.

The Westminster leader of the Northern Ireland DUP which props up her government said: "Can I urge the prime minister now to look seriously at the backstop," Nigel Dodds said referrning to the prime minister. "She knows that remains the problem, she knows Michel Barnier and Leo Varadkar have said in a no-deal scenario there will be no hard border. Please, prime minister, even now, use the time constructively to get that matter sorted out."

14:46 Prime Minister Theresa May said the implications of the vote were "grave." 


14:40 The government lost by 58 votes: with the Ayes 286, Noes 344. 

14:27 Lawmakers go to vote on the motion which includes the divorce deal payment of UKP 39 billion (€45 billion, $50 billion) to the EU, the Irish backstop arrangement and citizens' rights. 

14:15 Prime Minister Theresa May closes the debate in the House of Commons and tells MPs that voting in favor of her deal today would give the government more time to negotiate with the EU. She said her government has committed to giving parliament a role in the ongoing process. May said it is "the last opportunity to guarantee Brexit."

May confirmed she would be prepared to step down as prime minister earlier than anticipated.

13:45 EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has made clear that the deadline for Theresa May to pass her deal is later today, at the same time Britain was originally due to leave the European Union. If she is unable to do so, he said, Britain would have until April 12 to propose another strategy or leave the EU with no deal.

One option might be to agree to some form of a Customs Union, Barnier said.

"We are ready to be even more ambitious should the UK's red-lines evolve," Barnier said. "For instance, we are open to work on the principle of a permanent customs union should the U.K. decide to take this path.

The EU Commission spokesman said as far as "international law is concerned, only the Withdrawal Agreement needs formal ratification from the UK parliament for a May 22 exit."

13:25 May needs to bring on side dozens of her own MPs and more than 20 lawmakers from the opposition Labour. 

The Scottish National Party has urged Labour members not to back the deal, saying they would pave the way for a future prime minister from the right wing of the Conservative party.

13:11 Former Conservative and anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry tells parliament she doesn't see why lawmakers get to vote on the deal three times, while the public aren’t allowed another say in a referendum.

Soubry says that she and other centrist MPs who broke away from both the Conservative and Labour parties have applied to register themselves as a new political party, Change UK. The word "change" featured heavily in Soubry's speech.  

12: 43 Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has told parliament that he will back the deal, even though he believes it to be a bad one. "I believe we need to proceed with some realism," he says.

Raab said he favored the deal over the "unsavory alternatives" of being trapped in the backstop and no Brexit.

12:15 The anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller has been talking to DW's Birgit Maass on the day that Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union. "I'm hugely and deeply sad that Mr. Cameron ever put us in this position and that's what I'm reminded of today. Today, the day we were supposed to leave, reminds me what a catastrophic decision he made to hold that referendum." 

Miller is best known for successfully challenging the government in the UK's Supreme Court to ensure that parliament could have a say in Britain's exit from the EU.

"We are a representative democracy," said Miller, who has faced death threats and been vilified in pro-Brexit newspapers since winning the case. "It is right that parliamentarians that we elect have oversight on what happens to our lives. So the court case was absolutely the right thing to do."

11:45 Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said it cannot back a withdrawal deal that does not protect the whole of the United Kingdom.

A DUP spokesman was responding to reports that the party might be about to yield and back the government's motion.

Party leader Arlene Foster, whose 10 lawmakers prop up May's government in the House of Commons , wrote in the Belfast Telegraph earlier on Friday that the party could not vote for the deal because it would "undermine the Union" between the UK's four nations.

11:30 DW has been gathering the thoughts of some of Britain's most creative minds. Author Ian McEwan told us that he would support a second referendum"every minute of the day." And Scottish-born writer William Boyd tiold DW that Brexit "should never have happened."

11:15 Leaders around Europe have been busy making their plans to deal with the potential fallout. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Dublin on Thursday next week to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, two days after his visit to French President Emmanuel Macron. 

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK had a responsibility to "tell us what they want for the future relationship of their country with the EU." He reminded MPs that the deal was the "best compromise."

11:00 Hello and welcome to DW's rolling coverage of the crunch vote in the UK Parliament. Ironically, this "the last chance we have to vote for Brexit as we understood it," as UK Trade Minister Liam Fox describes it, comes on the day that the UK was scheduled to leave the bloc.

Events are being followed keenly around Europe, especially in Germany. The chairman of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee, Norbert Röttgen, told DW earlier that Germany "knows the high and valuable contribution of Britain to the European Union. Perhaps Germany even more than others do."

Read more: Brexit: Germany's extra-special wish for the UK to stay

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