Theresa May Pulls Plug on Brexit Vote to Avoid Major Loss

Theresa May Pulls Plug on Brexit Vote to Avoid Major Loss

British Prime Minister Theresa May canceled a vote on a deal for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union amid concerns that the plan would be defeated.

May pulled the plug on the vote amid predictions that the plan would be defeated, which could have put an end to her administration.

May told the House of Commons that she had listened "very carefully to what has been said in this chamber and out of it," prompting laughter and heckles from members of parliament.

"It is clear that while there is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal, on one issue -- the Northern Ireland backstop -- there remains widespread and deep concern," May said.

The “Northern Ireland backstop” is an arrangement that was created to make sure there would not be a “hard border” between Ireland, which will stay in the European Union, and Northern Ireland, which would Brexit.

May said that if the vote went ahead, it “would be rejected by a significant margin."

"We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time," she added.

May said that she hopes to change the arrangement to make it less indefinite in order to ease concerns of members.

May is now expected to meet with European Union leaders to hash out a way forward.

"I spoke to a number of EU leaders over the weekend and in advance of the European Council, I will go to see my counterparts in other member states and the leadership of the Council and the Commission. I will discuss with them the clear concerns that this House has expressed," May said.

EU rules out more Brexit negotiations: Despite May’s assurance that she will discuss a deal with EU leaders, The European Commission dismissed any further Brexit discussions.

"We have an agreement on the table which was endorsed by the European Council... as President (Jean-Claude) Juncker said, this deal is the best and only deal possible. We will not renegotiate," the commission said in a statement.

Chief Brexit negotiator rips May: EU Parliament chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt slammed the delay after May’s announcement.

“I can’t follow anymore. After two years of negotiations, the Tory government wants to delay the vote,” he wrote. “Just keep in mind that we will never let the Irish down. This delay will further aggravate the uncertainty for people & businesses. It’s time they make up their mind!”

EU court says UK can back out of Brexit: On Monday, the EU Court of Justice ruled that the UK is free to unilaterally stop the process of leaving the European Union despite being two years into the process.

May’s cabinet said that the ruling doesn’t change anything.

"We voted very clearly -- 17.4 million people sent a clear message that they wanted to leave the European Union," said Gove, a prominent Leave campaigner. "And that also means leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice," cabinet secretary Michael Gove told the BBC.

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