Brexit: UK Parliament votes against ‘no deal’

British Prime Minister Theresa May put the 'no deal' Brexit option to a vote in Parliament.

JAKE MCPHERSON/GETTY

British Prime Minister Theresa May put the ‘no deal’ Brexit option to a vote in Parliament.

With just 16 days to go before the Brexit deadline, Britain’s Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to reject having the country leave the European Union without a divorce agreement.

The vote comes a day after parliament delivered a crushing defeat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal, and to her authority as leader.

A chaotic “no-deal” British exit could mean major disruption for businesses and people in the UK and the 27 remaining EU countries.

Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament.

JACK TAYLOR/GETTY

Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament.

MPs voted by 312 to 308 in favour of a cross-party motion that ruled out a potentially disorderly ‘no-deal’ Brexit under any circumstances, Reuters reported.

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It went further than the government’s own planned motion, which noted that parliament did not want to leave without a deal on March 29 and that the default legal position was to leave without a deal unless one was ratified by parliament, Reuters said.

The vote has political but not legal force. A no-deal Brexit could still happen unless Britain and the EU ratify a divorce agreement or Britain decides to cancel its departure.

British lawmakers now plan to vote on Thursday on whether to ask the EU to delay the country’s departure day.

May said the EU had been clear that the deal that was on the table was the only one available. The UK could hold a second referendum, she said, but that would risk no Brexit at all.

​- More to come