United Kingdom lawmakers to vote on requesting delay as Brexit day nears

United Kingdom lawmakers to vote on requesting delay as Brexit day nears

But lawmakers will finally be given the chance to vote on Wednesday night to avert such a "no deal" Brexit, and likely delay Britain's exit date, too, in what could be yet another blow to May's government.

Juncker said he recommended the deal to the EU Council, which represents member states, and that Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was prepared to back the changes on the backstop.

He told Sky News: "We live under a system of law and a motion passed in Parliament does not override the law".

"I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal, and that the deal we have negotiated is the best, and indeed the only deal available".

"They have to tell us what it is they want for their future relationship", he said, speaking at the European Parliament. May said it will be a free vote for her party.

The vote does not rule out no-deal altogether.

Hitchin & Harpenden MP Bim Afolami - who made history by becoming the first father in British Parliamentary history to vote by proxy while on maternity leave - was disappointed to see the PM's deal rejected, and confirmed he would be voting to stop a "no-deal Brexit" today.

But if there is a no-deal Brexit, things are a lot more uncertain - the Government has been ramping up preparations to try to prevent shortages of food and medicine amid fears that increased bureaucracy will clog up key ports where goods arrive from the Continent.

If Britain does seek a delay, it will require the agreement of all the bloc's other 27 members. But the rest of the EU is reluctant to postpone Brexit beyond the late May elections for the EU's legislature, the European Parliament.

It does warn, however, that in both these cases it is unclear what would be solved, and that a short - three- to four-month - extension would be insufficient.

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EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc would need to know why Britain wanted to extend talks and that it was up to London to find a way out of the deadlock.

Ahead of Wednesday's vote, the pound headed for its biggest daily rise in 2019 as investors bet that parliament would resoundingly vote against a no-deal Brexit.

As Brexit uncertainty spills into foreign exchange, stock and bond markets across the world, investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are offering different probabilities on the outcomes. Its best guess was that a reversal of Brexit had a 35 percent probability and a no-deal Brexit a 10 percent probability.

The vote was a second attempt for May to gather the approval of Parliament on the terms by which Brexit will occur.

The Bank of England said previously that a no-deal Brexit - also known as a hard Brexit and means no transition period - will be worse than a global financial crisis.

"But I think no Brexit is catastrophic for our democracy".

Similar plans have been rejected by the European Union over 18 months of negotiations.

"The legal risk remains unchanged", he wrote Tuesday, noting there are "internationally lawful means" of leaving the backstop without European Union agreement.

Many fear Brexit will divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional USA presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China, leaving Britain economically weaker and with its security capabilities depleted.

"On EU side we've done all that's possible to reach an agreement", Mr Tusk's spokesman said.

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