Crushing defeat for Theresa May in Brexit deal vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May (Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)
British Prime Minister Theresa May (Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)

British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a crushing defeat in a historic vote on Tuesday over the Brexit deal she has struck with the European Union, leaving the world's fifth biggest economy in limbo.

May’s withdrawal agreement was voted down 432-202, the largest in the history of the House of Commons.

In a last-gasp bid to salvage her plan for taking Britain out of the European project after nearly five decades, May told MPs they had a "duty to deliver" on the results of a 2016 referendum that started the divorce.

"I believe we have a duty to deliver on the democratic decision of the British people," May said, warning MPs that the EU would not offer any "alternative deal".

"A vote against this deal is a vote for uncertainty, division, and the very real threat of a no deal," she argued to loud jeers from the packed chamber.

"The responsibility of each and every one of us at this moment is profound, for this is a historic decision that will set the future of our country for generations".

Most lawmakers have always opposed Brexit, as have some leading members of May's government, creating an inherent contradiction that has torn the island nation apart.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has tabled a motion of no confidence in the government following May's huge defeat.

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