Government defeated on its Brexit deal


The likelihood of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal just got a whole lot higher—and Prime Minister Theresa May is largely to blame.

On Tuesday, British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against May’s negotiated agreement with the EU, delivering a damaging  blow to her Brexit strategy. The deal, which outlines the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and paves the way for the next phase of negotiations that will decide their future trade relationship, was reached by negotiators late last year. But it still needs to be ratified by both the British and European Parliaments before it can go into effect, and without such an agreement in place, the U.K. will leave the bloc without a deal on March 29.

Whether the prime minister will get the chance to lead a government out of the EU, though, is not clear. The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said immediately after MPs voted against the deal by a margin of 432 votes to 202—the biggest government defeat in decades—that he will move for a vote of no confidence in the government in a bid to force a general election. A vote is set to be held on Wednesday, though it appears unlikely that enough lawmakers would support it.