Britain’s Planned Separation From The European Union Suffers Parliamentary Defeat

Britain’s separation from the European Union – known as Brexit – is on shaky ground after the U.K. Parliament voted against a plan put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister May lost three key votes on Brexit in the House of Commons Tuesday. The losses all but defeat the Prime Minister’s efforts to ratify the deal that she has reached with the European Union to extricate the United Kingdom from the European trading bloc.

The British Parliament now has the ability to decide on Britain’s "Plan B" if, as is widely expected, it rejects Prime Minister May’s official divorce agreement with the European Union in the biggest vote of all that is scheduled for next week.

Members of Parliament could seek to pursue a softer withdrawal from the European Union, including potentially staying in the bloc’s single market, or stop Brexit entirely. One option that could gather momentum in the weeks ahead is for a second referendum among U.K. citizens that would allow the public to overturn the decision of the first referendum on leaving the European Union.

"No longer must the will of Parliament -- reflecting the will of the people -- be diminished," Tory lawmaker Dominic Grieve said after engineering one of May’s defeats Tuesday. "Parliament must now take back control and then give the final decision back to the public because, in the end, only the people can sort this out."

On December 11, Parliament will vote finally on whether to accept or reject the 585-page withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister May and the European Union reached this past November. Political analysts are predicting a major defeat of the withdrawal agreement.

If that is the case, the U.K. will likely crash out of the European Union with no deal, an outcome that the Bank of England and the Treasury have warned could cause severe damage to the British economy. According the Bank of England, house prices would be hit by a 30% decline and the pound could fall as much as 25% with no deal on Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Tuesday that the official opposition, which he leads, will oppose the deal next week. Critics from all sides of the House of Commons have lined up in recent days to raise objections to the European Union separation agreement.