More Brexit chaos as four options rejected
BRITISH MPs have rejected all four non-binding Brexit alternatives tabled for the second round of the indicative vote process.
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told the House of Commons that the default legal position is that the UK will leave the EU in 11 days' time, and that to secure an extension Britain must provide a "credible" plan.
Mr Barclay said that if the House of Commons is able to agree a deal this week, it would still be possible to avoid European Parliament elections in May.
All 10 MPs from the Northern Irish party propping up British Prime Minister Theresa May's government voted against the four alternative Brexit options voted upon in parliament on Monday, a spokesman for the party said.
The four options included remaining in a customs union with the EU; membership of the single market with a customs arrangement; putting any agreed deal to a second referendum; and halting Brexit altogether if necessary to avoid leaving the bloc without a deal.
Conservative former minister Nick Boles, raising a point of order, said he can "no longer sit for this party" as it was incapable of compromise, and resigned.
Three days after the date on which Britain was originally due to leave the EU, it is still uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom will say goodbye to the bloc it joined 46 years ago.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was "disappointing" that none of the options had won a majority, but said MPs should have a chance to consider them again on Wednesday.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay says that May's deal is the only way forward in light of Parliament's inability to find a clear majority for an alternative arrangement. May's deal has already been rejected three times.
Barclay says the default position calls for Britain to leave the European Union in 11 days. He says if Parliament agrees to May's withdrawal agreement this week it "may be possible" to leave the EU without participating in European elections in late May.
He says the Cabinet will meet Tuesday to discuss options.
They voted on four different options - the customs union, single market, a second referendum and cancelling Brexit altogether.
British politicians considered four alternatives to Mrs May's rejected Brexit deal.
The options that were up for votes in parliament include two proposals that aim to retain close economic ties between Britain and the European Union.
One would keep the UK in a customs union for goods with the EU after Brexit, while another calls for Britain to stay in the bloc's single market for both goods and services.
Another option wants any Brexit deal to be submitted to a public referendum, and the fourth says Britain should cancel its departure from the EU if it comes within two days of crashing out of the bloc without an agreement. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow chose the options from eight ideas submitted.
It comes as a leading credit ratings agency has reiterated the array of economic difficulties it foresees Britain encountering if the country crashes out of the European Union without an exit deal.
Standard & Poor's said in an update that a disorderly Brexit would "adversely affect income levels and growth prospects, as well as government finances."
S&P also is warning that Britain's withdrawal could "significantly limit" access to key European markets. The ratings agency says if that happens, it would expect "downward pressure" on house prices, a significant increase in the country's debt and a further drop in the value of the pound. S&P has said such a scenario could lead it to downgrade Britain's AA long-term credit rating.