On the very day Britain was due to leave the European Union, UK Parliament will again vote on Theresa May’s twice-defeated Brexit deal.
House of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom announced Friday morning that Parliament would vote on the 585-page withdrawal agreement that sets out the terms of Britain’s departure.
MPs will not, however, vote on a shorter declaration on future ties with the EU that was agreed with Europe late last year.
Its removal altered the deal enough to overcome a ban on against asking lawmakers the same question over and over again.
If the withdrawal agreement is approved by 11 pm local time, the EU has agreed to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc until May 22.
If it is rejected, the UK has until April 12 to announce a new plan, or leave the bloc without a deal, risking severe disruption for people and businesses.
“I encourage all MPs to support it and ensure that we leave the EU on the 22nd of May, giving people and businesses the certainty they need,” Ms Leadsom said.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said the government’s “new” motion complied with his earlier ruling that he would not allow a third “meaningful vote” on Ms May’s deal.
The Prime Minister’s deal includes a withdrawal agreement, setting out how much money the UK must pay to the EU as a settlement, details of the transition period, and the backstop arrangements, as well as a political declaration on the way the future EU-UK relationship will work.
The opposition Labour Party has already confirmed it will not support Ms May’s Brexit deal in the new vote.
“We would be leaving the EU, but with absolutely no idea where we are heading. That cannot be acceptable and Labour will not vote for it,” Keir Starmer told the British Chambers of Commerce conference.
“To now split the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration would leave us with the blindest of blindfold Brexits.”
Downing Street has previously indicated that a third “meaningful vote” would only be attempted if Ms May felt there was a credible chance of success, after its defeat by 230 votes in January and 149 in March.
The Democratic Unionist Party said on Thursday its opposition to the withdrawal agreement remained unchanged.