MPs overwhelmingly rejected Mrs May’s Brexit deal in a second “meaningful vote” with 391 against the Withdrawal Agreement and 242 in support giving a majority of 149. European Council President Donald Tusk said there was no more the EU could do to help end the deadlock.
A spokesman for Mr Tusk said: “We regret the outcome of tonight’s vote and are disappointed that the UK government has been unable to ensure a majority for the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by both parties in November.
“On the EU side we have done all that is possible to reach an agreement. Given the additional assurances provided by the EU in December, January and yesterday, it is difficult to see what more we can do.
“If there is a solution to the current impasse it can only be found in London.
“The EU for its part continues to stand by the Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, which serves to prevent a hard border in Ireland and preserve the integrity of the single market unless and until alternative arrangements can be found.
“With only 17 days left to 29 March, today’s vote has significantly increased the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.
“We will continue our no-deal preparations and ensure that we will be ready if such a scenario arises.
“Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity.
“The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration. The smooth functioning of the EU institutions will need to be ensured.”
Mrs May said she “profoundly regrets the decision this House has taken tonight”.
Addressing the Commons after the result of the vote was read out she said: “I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is the UK leaves the European Union in orderly fashion with a deal.
“And that the deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed only deal available.”
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said: “The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line.
“The impasse can only be solved in the UK.
“Our no-deal preparations are now more important than ever before.”
Published at Tue, 12 Mar 2019 19:38:00 +0000