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British PM Theresa May loses key vote on Brexit procedure in parliament

By PTI
|

London, Jan 9: Britain's government suffered another setback on Wednesday as MPs voted to force it to announce within three sitting days what steps it will take next if its Brexit deal is rejected by parliament next week as appears likely.

Theresa May

The contentious amendment was passed by 308 votes in favour to 297 against, a day after MPs delivered another blow to Prime Minister Theresa May by voting to scupper a no-deal Brexit.

The amendment gives MPs the chance to formally put forward alternatives to her deal for the first time, including a people's vote and the Norway and EFTA "soft Brexit" options.

If the UK decides on a Norway-style Brexit it would join the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and, through the latter, become a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).

A country can be an EEA member only if it is in the EU or EFTA.

This arrangement would give the UK full access to the single market, which means there would be no new non-tariff barriers, which would have the least impact on the British economy.

Under the arrangement, though Britain would not be ruled over by the European Court of Justice, it would still have to be held accountable by the EFTA court, which means the UK would not be completely free of EU jurisdiction.

The UK will officially leave the EU on March 29.

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