With just 11 days left, the British Parliament failed to gain a majority in the second round of "indicative" votes conducted on Monday to decided on an alternative plan for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (popularly known as Brexit).
Last week, the lawmakers held a session of "indicative" voting at the House of Commons giving the Members of Parliament 8 possible Brexit options that ranged from a "softer Brexit" to a "no-deal Brexit". As no plan won a majority, a second round was conducted this week with just four options on the ballot, most of which had come close to being finalists in the previous session.
With the deadline of 12 April approaching, fewer options were expected to help gain a clearer stand but the UK Parliament failed another time to win a majority stance.
The four options included:
- negotiation of "a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU" as part of any Brexit deal
- joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) while remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA)
- a public vote to seek approval of any Brexit deal passed by Parliament before it could be implemented
- a series of steps preventing the UK from leaving the EU without a deal which includes a final vote on whether to not have a Brexit at all
The first option came close to being passed on Monday, defeated only by three votes. It is one of the "soft Brexit" alternatives that will help the UK keep closes ties with the EU despite the exit.
The UK had joined the EU back in 1973. EU is a political and economic union of 28 primarily European countries that allow free movement of citizens, goods and services among the member nations. It created a single trade market with standardized laws.
On 23 June 2016, a public vote was conducted on whether or not UK should exit the EU. The decision to leave won the majority with nearly 52 percent votes in favour. An exit deal known as the "Withdrawal Agreement" (on how the UK leaves) was to be decided by 29 March 2019. On failure to agree on a deal, the EU agree to postpone the deadline to 12 April.
The Brexit is expected to hit the British economy as movement of trade, capital and business will face major disruptions.