Theresa May's Brexit Withdrawal Deal Suffers Another Defeat; Pound Down

© Reuters. – U.K. lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s renegotiated Brexit withdrawal agreement by a resounding majority.

U.K. lawmakers voted by 391 to 242 – a majority of 149 – against a motion endorsing the renegotiated Brexit withdrawal agreement.

was down 0.59% to $1.3064 just before the results of the vote were announced, but then pared some losses to trade at $1.3111.

The success of the vote was thrown into doubt well before the voting got underway as Attorney General Geoffrey Cox warned that the risk of the U.K. being trapped in a backstop arrangement, to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit, remained “unchanged” from the deal that was defeated in parliament in January.

Cox’s legal advice was seen as crucial to getting Brexiteers to back the prime minister’s deal.

Following the defeat of May’s proposal, U.K. lawmakers are expected to vote Wednesday on whether the U.K. should leave the EU without a deal on March 29.

If parliament rejects no deal, lawmakers would then be asked by March 14 whether they wanted to extend the March 29 Brexit deadline. If a vote on an extension passes, the government would then seek the EU’s agreement for a delay.

While many believe the EU is likely to accept a delay, the decision is said to be complicated by the European Parliament elections on May 23-26 across all EU countries.

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