By Helene Fung
British MPs rejected a component of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, for the third time, 286 to 344.
Last week, to prevent Britain from crashing out, the EU granted an extension to May 22 if the divorce deal was approved by Friday — or to April 12 if it was rejected.
The European Council unanimously refused to re-open talks, which means the United Kingdom is set to leave the EU on April 12 without a deal, which practically could mean crippling tariffs, border gridlock and shortages of goods.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, tweeted that “In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April.” – a mere two days before the looming deadline.
Meanwhile, thousands of Brexit supporters gathered for a march in central London on “Independence day” – which was supposed to be the day the United Kingdom left the European Union.