Early election talk grows as Brexit supporters accuse British MPs of betrayal

Sunday, 31 Mar, 2019

Friday's parliamentary vote is on only part of the deal that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the European Union, in a bid by May to blunt the opposition that has already forced her to ask for an extension.

European Union president Donald Tusk on Friday summoned leaders to an extraordinary summit on April 10, after British lawmakers again rejected the draft Brexit withdrawal deal they agreed with Britain.

European Council president Donald Tusk has called for an emergency meeting on April 10 in the wake of the vote.

An EU Commission official says the 27 remaining EU nations are now "fully prepared for a no-deal scenario at midnight 12th of April", by which time the United Kingdom must chart a course ahead. She subsequently did so on March 29 that year.

"The implications of the House's decision are great", May told MPs after the announcement of the devastating result, suggesting that this should be "a matter of profound regret" for every member of the chamber.

This was echoed by the French presidency, which said London must "urgently present an alternative plan in the next few days".

What also is in tatters is a European admiration of Britain as a symbol of a well-run parliamentary democracy, with its sometimes brilliant discourse and vigorous debate. "That's his weakness." Johnson's opponents in the party have said they would likely coalesce behind a "Stop Boris" candidate in order to prevent members from getting the chance to vote for him.

However, Conservative Party chairperson Brandon Lewis said the government did not support any of those options.

The British Parliament will vote Monday (local time) on a variety of Brexit alternatives in an attempt to find an idea that can find majority support, but Mrs May's Government is considering a fourth vote on her deal, bolstered by their success in narrowing her margin of defeat to 58 votes last week from 230 votes in January.

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking as parliament voted, said the European Union needed to accelerate no-deal planning and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that unless Britain came up with a plan, there would be a "hard" Brexit.

Her comments sparked speculation she might call an election as the only way to break the impasse, something opposition parties have called for.

"Excellent. We're now on track for a 'no deal, '" said saleswoman Louise Hemple, 52, standing in the shadow of Winston Churchill's statue outside parliament.

May has blamed MPs, but they say it is her refusal to change course that is blocking any solution.

It comes as a Mail on Sunday poll today gives Jeremy Corbyn a five-point lead over the Tories, enough to make Labour the largest party in the Commons and put Mr Corbyn on the threshold of Downing Street.

Instead, the day was marked with MPs rejecting the latest withdrawal agreement.

"We don't know who is going to be prime minister at that stage or what sort of commitments they will expect to be bound by, so she has made it far more hard for Labour MPs to support this deal, to be perfectly honest", Nandy told Sky News.

"Only MPs can end this nightmare for businesses", said Josh Hardie, of the CBI business lobby group.