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Can Britain's parliament stop a no-deal Brexit?

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 30, 2019 - Duration: 02:16s

Can Britain's parliament stop a no-deal Brexit?

Britain is hurtling towards the exit of the EU, and many candidates to become the next prime minister say they support leaving soon even without a withdrawal treaty.

Parliament voted against a no-deal Brexit, but is there anything it can do to stop it?

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Can Britain's parliament stop a no-deal Brexit?

Theresa May is succumbing to Brexit chaos and quitting the top seat.

And most of those lining up to take over want a quicker, cleaner Brexit -- without any withdrawal treaty if necessary.

That could lead to a stand-off between Britain's next prime minister and parliament.

Britain is hurtling towards the exit-door of Europe -- scheduled to leave on Halloween this year.

Getting a deal will be hard in the short time left -- Brussels says restarting talks is a non-starter and all that's on the table is the unloved treaty that May tried to squeeze through parliament three times, and failed.

A few months ago, parliament passed a motion against crashing out without a deal.

But it was non-binding -- so is there anything lawmakers can do to prevent a hard Brexit?

Well, they could try to cancel Brexit outright by revoking Article 50 of the UK's treaty with the EU.

But that won't be easy.

It would require legislation -- passed by parliament.

And while a majority of lawmakers are pro-remain, they'd struggle to get enough backing for such a controversial choice with many believing the wishes of voters in the 2016 EU referendum should be respected at any cost.

Or, parliament could seek an emergency debate try to pass a motion saying no deal is a no-go -- but that would also be non-binding.

One last option would be to force a vote of no confidence against the government.

That depends on how vicious things get in the next few weeks, since it would require defections from May's ruling Conservatives.

It would also be a leap of faith, or some might say suicide.

A general election would become highly likely.

And since the Conservatives -- and the main opposition Labour -- were trounced in last week's European elections, they're likely to have little appetite for letting voters punish them again for the Brexit impasse.

If they don't come up with anything, the UK will eject from Europe as planned in October without May's successor lifting a finger.

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