British lawmakers have rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a crushing margin.
This could trigger, a political upheaval that could lead to a disorderly exit from the EU or even to a reversal of the 2016 decision to leave.
Parliament voted 432-202 against her deal, the worst parliamentary defeat for a government in recent British history.
Scores of her own MPs – both Brexiteers and supporters of EU membership – joined forces to vote down the deal.
With the clock ticking down to 29th of March, the date set in law for Brexit, the United Kingdom is now ensnared in the deepest political crisis in half a century.
It now grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project that it joined in 1973.
Meanwhile, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, immediately moved to sieze the initiative, tabling a vote of no confidence in the government.
“This is a catastrophic defeat. The house has delivered its verdict on her deal. Delay and denial has reached the end of the line,” he said.
Brexit-supporting Conservatives joined with opposition parties and the Democratic Unionist party to trounce the government in the “meaningful vote”, which the prime minister delayed before Christmas in the vain hope of winning over waverers.