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Brexit deal suffers historic defeat; May faces vote of confidence

By Angus McNeice | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-01-16 08:49

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a historic defeat in Parliament on Tuesday when members voted 432 to 202 against the government's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The UK is now in a state of further limbo regarding the nature of its exit from the European Union, which was voted for by members of the public in a 2016 referendum.

Several outcomes are now possible following the government's defeat, including the calling of a general election, the Prime Minister's resignation, and even a second referendum.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence in the government which will be voted on Wednesday.

Corbyn said the vote will allow Parliament to "give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government".

Currently, the UK is legally bound to leave the EU on March 29 under Article 50 of European law. But the EU has indicated that Article 50 could be extended which would allow time for a second vote and for Parliament to pass related legislation.

The UK also now faces the possibility of exiting the EU in late March without a deal in place and trading under World Trade Organization rules.

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