The Latest: Parliament votes to consider Brexit alternatives
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
British lawmakers are set to hold a series of votes on different options for Brexit in an attempt to break the country’s political deadlock.
Lawmakers voted 329-302 to take control of Parliament’s timetable from the government starting Wednesday to hold votes on alternative Brexit options.
The alternatives could include remaining in the European Union’s single market or canceling Brexit altogether.
The government promised to “engage constructively” with the process but has not committed to enacting whatever lawmakers decide.
Parliament has twice rejected the divorce deal May’s government struck with the EU, and May acknowledged on Monday the agreement still lacks enough support to pass.
The impasse has led Britain to seek a delay to Brexit, which was set to go into effect this Friday. If May’s deal passes, it will leave May 22.
Otherwise, the U.K. has until April 12 to inform the EU of a new plan of action.
Prime Minister Theresa May says she will not lead Britain out of the European Union without a deal unless Parliament agrees to it — effectively taking that option off the table.
At present, the U.K. is set to leave without agreement unless lawmakers approve a divorce deal or choose another path by April 12.
That could cause major economic upheaval.
May has told lawmakers that “unless this House agrees to it, ‘no deal’ will not happen.” The House of Commons has already voted in principle against leaving without a deal.
May urged lawmakers to back her deal, saying the only other options were canceling or delaying Brexit.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May says she doesn’t have enough support to put her European Union divorce deal to a new vote in Parliament.
May told Parliament Monday she regrets that Britain isn’t set to leave the EU on March 29 as originally planned.
She says she is still trying to build support for her plan. Her withdrawal plan has already been defeated twice.
The prime minister says she is skeptical that a series of “indicative votes” in Parliament will be able to set a clear path forward for breaking the Brexit impasse.
British Prime Minister Theresa May still hasn’t committed to bringing her twice-rejected European Union divorce deal back to Parliament for a third vote this week.
If May can win approval for the deal, the U.K. will leave the EU on May 22. If the deal is not approved, Britain has until April 12 to come up with a new plan, such as leaving without a deal or canceling Brexit.
May’s spokesman, James Slack, says the prime minister is determined to win support for her deal, but “we will only bring the vote back if we believe we would be in a position to win it.” And there are no signs of big shifts in lawmakers’ opinion.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, whose opposition has helped sink the deal, said the party’s “position remains unchanged.”
The European Union says it has completed preparations for the potentially-chaotic scenario in which Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal, but talks on how to manage the Irish border are continuing.
Amid doubt about whether Britain will endorse the divorce agreement by Friday, the EU says a no-deal Brexit on the new departure date, April 12, “is increasingly likely.”
The European Commission said Monday that “this will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses,” and noted that Britain will leave “without any transitionary arrangements.”
The commission says it has published 90 preparedness notices for citizens and businesses and made 19 proposals for new legislation.
The remaining 27 EU countries are hiring hundreds of staff to conduct extra border and customs checks.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will be meeting with her Cabinet to map out a strategy for delivering Brexit as she fights to stay in power.
The session comes after a weekend of speculation that she may be forced to resign to win approval of her twice-rejected Brexit deal.
Lawmakers are preparing to debate proposals for a series of votes on alternatives to May’s deal, which could take control of the process away from the government.
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday claimed May had “chickened out” on delivering Brexit this week. Writing in the Telegraph, he says that to win support for her deal she must show that the next phase of negotiations — on future relations with the European Union — will be different.