London,Jan 16 (IECurrentAffairs) Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a humiliating defeat over her plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union, pushing the country further into political chaos.
The 432-202 vote to reject her proposal on Tuesday was the biggest defeat in the House of Commons for a prime minister in recent British history. It also shows how comprehensively May has failed to build consensus behind any single vision of how to exit the European Union.
The defeat is a huge blow for Mrs May, who has spent more than two years hammering out a deal with the EU, reported BBC.
The plan was aimed at bringing about an orderly departure from the EU on 29 March, and setting up a 21-month transition period to negotiate a free trade deal.
The vote was originally due to take place in December, but Mrs May delayed it to try and win the support of more MPs.
Now factions in Parliament will offer their own proposals – setting off a new, unpredictable stage in Brexit, the process of withdrawing from the bloc.
Her failure to convey any convincing vision of Britain’s future outside the European Union has allowed painful divisions in the country to deepen.
Immediately after the vote against her proposal, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, citing the ‘sheer incompetence of this government,’ called for a vote of no confidence in May, which will be debated on Wednesday.
The European Union officials who have waited for Britain to resolve its plan, were also muted in an official statement.
‘If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?’ Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote in a Twitter post.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said on Twitter, ‘I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.’
Before the vote, May and her supporters were urging lawmakers in both the Conservative and Labour Parties to resolve the stalemate and back her plan, saying that a vote in favor would put country before party.
However, the UK is still on course to leave on 29 March but the defeat throws it into the further doubt.