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Parliament 'rules out' no-deal Brexit

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The House of Commons has voted in favour of ruling out a no-deal Brexit after voting by a margin of 318 to 310 in favour of Caroline Spelman and Jack Dromey's amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement. The agreement, which is not legally binding, proposes to add the words "[Parliament] rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship" to Prime Minister Theresa May's final motion.

Prime Minister Theresa May will now return to Brussels in an attempt to renegotiate aspects of her Brexit deal before returning to Parliament for further debate and voting on 13 and 14 February. In the wake of the result, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he and his party would now be willing to engage with the Prime Minister on finding a solution to the impasse. In addition, Graham Brady's amendment also passed, meaning May will try to replace the Irish Backstop with "alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border". Brady's amendment is also not legally binding and has been criticised as being overly vague. 

May will attempt to re-open negotiations with the EU over the Northern Ireland backstop, claiming she will pursue a "significant and legally binding change" to the proposal. She added she would potentially seek a time limit or a unilateral exit clause to the backstop as other "alternatives".

However, May faces strong opposition to any changes to the existing agreement from many EU leaders and European Commission negotiators. The EU has said on several occasions that it will not re-open the Withdrawal Agreement, despite May's latest U-turn. Sterling fell by as much as 0.7% against both the dollar and euro as Parliament failed to pass two amendments which would have called for an extension of Article 50.

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 30 January 2019