In the worst defeat for a ruling government in British history, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal to withdraw Britain from the European Union was crushed Tuesday by 230 votes. John Bercow, the speaker of the U.K. House of Commons, called the roll.
Speaker John Bercow: “Order! The ayes to the right, 202. The noes to the left, 432. So the noes have it. The noes have it. Unlock! On a point of—indeed, point of order, the prime minister.”
Prime Minister Theresa May: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the House has spoken, and the government will listen. It is clear that the House does not support this deal. But tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support, nothing about how—nothing about how or even if it intends to honor the decision the British people took in a referendum Parliament decided to hold.”
Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union in 10 weeks, but the rejection of the deal leaves uncertainty about what will happen next. Shortly after Tuesday’s vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a vote of no confidence in May’s government to be held within 24 hours. Outside the Parliament, supporters of a second referendum on Brexit cheered Tuesday’s outcome. This is anti-Brexit activist Rebecca Ireland.
Rebecca Ireland: “I’m very happy. This is a first step. We need to have a people’s vote. There needs to be a choice on the ballot paper between Remain—remain in the EU—and Theresa May’s deal.”
After headlines, we’ll go to London to speak with journalist Paul Mason about Brexit.