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EU 'needs yes' on Brexit after UK MPs vote no

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Brussels, Belgium Mar 28, 2019, 06.11 PM (IST)

The EU on Thursday urged London to provide a way forward on Brexit, taking note that the British Parliament had failed to agree a fresh solution to the UK's divorce from the bloc.

Also read: What in the world is going on with Brexit?

"The European Commission takes note of the indicative votes in the House of Commons last night. This is part of an ongoing political process in the UK, which we fully respect," EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

"We counted eight 'no's last night, now we need a 'yes' on the way forward," he added.

Schinas was referring to the parliament's unprecedented step on Tuesday of voting a choice of alternate solutions to the near-dead divorce deal May reached with Brussels after 17 months of talks.

But none of the eight options secured a majority and another vote has been set for Monday on some of the proposals.

A proposal to hold a second referendum -- a popular idea with EU supporters -- came second while those promoting a cleaner break finished near the bottom.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told journalists in Brussels that without a solution from Britain, EU leaders would meet again on April 10 or 11 to discuss next steps.

EU leaders last week offered Britain a Brexit extension until May 22, but only on condition that parliament votes through the deal by Friday, the day Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union.

The May government said Wednesday it wanted a third vote on the EU deal on Friday, but the outcome remained uncertain.

If the vote fails a third time, May will have to spell out to EU leaders what steps Britain will take by a deadline of April 12, or risk crashing out of the bloc without any arrangements in place.

Story highlights

'The European Commission takes note of the indicative votes in the House of Commons last night. This is part of an ongoing political process in the UK, which we fully respect,' EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.