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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 29, 2019 11:00pm-11:30pm GMT

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four, three, two, one. . . four, three, two, one... we are free! this is it, we are free! with our free! the country's now free! this is live. this is the moment that the uk had been scheduled to officially leave the european union. but instead, today mps rejected theresa may's withdrawal agreement for a third time — throwing the uk's brexit plans into further confusion. implications of the house's decision a grave. illegal default now that the united kingdom is set to leave your opinion on the 12th of april, injust your opinion on the 12th of april, in just 1a days your opinion on the 12th of april, injust14 days time. your opinion on the 12th of april, in just 1a days time. that is not enough to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal. this deal now needs to change, there has to be an
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alternative found if the prime minister can't accept that, then she must go, not an indeterminate date in the future but now. brexit now! anger on the streets outside as thousands of pro brexit supporters descend on westminster, shouting "betrayal" over the brexit delay. in brussels, the eu says it regrets the decision in westminster and says the probability of britain leaving with no deal is now a "likely scenario". and at 11:30pm, we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with the author and journalist, rachel shabi and claire cohen, the women's editor at the daily telegraph.
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a very good evening. well, this is the moment, the minute and the hour that the uk was due to leave the european union. but instead, in dramatic scenes this afternoon, mps voted for the third time to reject the prime minister's —— brexit deal. mps were told that this was their last chance to deliver the kind of brexit the british people had voted for, but it wasn't enough to persuade them. 286 mps voted yes, 344 said no — the prime minister lost by 58 votes. theresa may said it was a matter of deep personal regret that the uk wasn't leaving the eu today and called it a grave moment for parliament. so april 12th is now brexit day. either the uk leaves with no deal or the prime minister asks brussels for an extension — and it could be a long one. the uk may now have to take part in the european elections too.
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it's not quite how the 29th of march was supposed to be. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports on today's historic vote. drumming this really is such an iconic day, it is march the 29th. what do we want? brexit! when do we want it? now! this really is a great failure, that we are not leaving at 11 o'clock this evening. crowds on the march to push parliament to get on with it... it's a thoroughly bad idea and it deserves to be defeated today. on the day that we were due to leave... shame on you! ..mps were asked to back a deal they hate or a delay. protests brought frustration to parliament, the prime minister brought the deal that would divorce us from the eu to the commons for judgment — again. the ayes to the right, 286. the noes to the left, 344.
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a closer result than last time out but a third defeat of nearly 60 votes for theresa may's deal — still way off. i fear we are reaching the limits of the process in this house. this house has rejected no deal, it has rejected no brexit, on wednesday, it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table. this government will continue to press the case for the orderly brexit that the result of the referendum demands. hear, hear! this deal now has to change. there has to be an alternative found and if the prime minister can't accept that, then she must go, not at an indeterminate date in the future, but now. she should now go and we should be having a general election. open calls for her to quit growing in her party too. there's only one thing the prime minister can do, get us out on the 12th of april,
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get our country back, and deliver what we promised. because if we don't, god help us. do you think that she should stay in herjob? no. i think it was inevitable that what just happened was going to happen because theresa may, once again, singularly failed to reach out to people. the cabinet's still trying to cling on... we are going to have to think very hard over the next few hours how to respond but this is a hugely disappointing result, which to my mind is not in the national interest. the prime minister's pitch earlier was this is the last chance to make sure we could leave the eu sometime soon. it avoids a long extension which would at least delay and could destroy brexit. i have said that i am prepared to leave this job earlier than i intended to secure the right outcome for our country.
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and when the division bell rings in a few moments's time, everyone of us will have to look into our hearts and decide what is best for our constituents and our country. this deal, even the half of it we have before us today, is bad for our democracy, bad for our economy and bad for this country, and i urge the house not to be cajoled on this third time lucky strategy and vote it down today! for weeks, exhausted ministers have only been able to stand back and watch on, while brexiteers made this deal sound like the end of the world. but listen... if we say we stand up for 17.4 million people, then we have to get those people what they asked for — is to leave the european union and this now is the only way. and then another... i will vote for the motion. the problem i have is that i cannot countenance an even longer extension. and i cannot countenance holding european elections in may. and then another...
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most of us don't like the agreement, but it's a damn sight better than sticking two fingers up to the british public and saying we're going to ignore you. but a clutch of convinced eurosceptics were firm. we have capitulated, this is not compromise, mr speaker, this has been capitulation. and theresa may's allies from northern ireland weren't budging. whatever means there are available to us, should this agreement go through, we will continue to oppose it. many more were furious... mr speaker, we cannot allow the future of this country to be held to ransom by the never ending internal tory psychodrama, and people who want to put their ownjobs and ambitions before the jobs and ambitions of the people in this country! the rainbow of other parties were never going to say yes... we've been ignored, silenced and sidelined. the futures of citizens across scotland and the rest
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of the uk held to ransom by right—wing brexiteers and the dup. this is nothing more than deceit, duplicity and deception from a government in desperation. so, what happens next? well, tonight, even members of the cabinet aren't sure. if we know anything about theresa may, it's not impossible that, somehow, she will come up with another way of trying to get her deal through again. but remember, mps are working together behind the scenes to try to come up with a solution, probably a softer brexit, that could find a majority in the house of commons some time soon. but in either case, it's likely the government will have to ask the eu for a longer extension, with conditions attached. but they could say no, in which case we might leave the european union without a deal in a couple of weeks. as they leave, on the day we were all meant to leave, the question of the country's departure from the eu is far from journey‘s end. and laura has been explaining how
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significant a moment this latest defeat is to the prime minister's brexit deal. for theresa may, it was the promise that she made to the public time and time and time again, we will leave the european union on the 29th of march. that process that she triggered was something than that parliament itself voted for and of course, at the general election not so course, at the general election not so long ago in the long history of britain's tangled relationships between the eu, with the eu, both of the main parties committed to leaving and then in parliament, a huge majority of mps voted for this to happen and at the very least, would blame lies, whoever made all the different miscalculations, the fa ct the different miscalculations, the fact is that parliament has not been able to deliver to the contrary something that it itself promised would happen and the question marks about where next are profound. it is simply not possible tonight to predict where this might go next, and the divisions and the dilemmas
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tonight, years into this process now, just as deep as they ever were. different sides arejust now, just as deep as they ever were. different sides are just as entrenched as they have been all along, the prime minister might claim that she is right to say there is more support for her deal tonight and there has been for a long time, but we're so far from a resolution in any sense here and so far, the businesses, forfamilies, in any sense here and so far, the businesses, for families, for in any sense here and so far, the businesses, forfamilies, for people watching us tonight, from able to be saying with any confidence exactly what the ending of this will be. unsurprisingly, european union officials were watching the proceedings in the british parliament very closely, as our europe correspondent katya adler explains. i would say that the eu is on the defensive now, very much and damage control mode. i mean it still hopes for negotiated exit outcome and in theory, all brexit options remain on theory, all brexit options remain on the table but there is very little
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trust here that parliament and the prime minister will really come to a firm conclusion and that is why we are hearing more and more talk about the likelihood of the no—deal brexit. we have heard that now from the french president, emmanuel macron, the european commission and other european leaders after this latest vote in the parliament. now, in previous times, they have used the set of no—deal brexit to put the pressure on mps and try and encourage them to vote in favour of the prime minister's deal, but they keep looking at these ongoing glaring divisions in parliament and really wonder whether the uk will ever unite around brexit way forward , ever unite around brexit way forward, and if the uk can't do that, then the french president emmanuel macron and some other eu countries are saying well, what is the point then delaying brexit for all that much longer? now, this is not to say that if the prime minister were to come here to brussels on the 10th of april for that emergency backs summers and to ask eu leaders for a longer brexit
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extension, that they would say no. but right now, there is definitely a lively debate here between the virtues of the longer extension versus having a brexit no deal now. france, for one, thinks yes, it would be painful but it would stop all this uncertainty that is so costly for european businesses and ways so heavily on the workings of the eu. now, all this talk of a no deal is making the eu look very carefully at its own no deal planning and eu leaders are beginning to pile on the pressure on ireland. they want ireland to finesse its no deal planning for a border with northern ireland, which is something it has avoided doing up until now for political reasons but eu leaders want to make sure, whatever happens with brexit, that their single market will be protected. so where does the uk go from here? tonight there are all kinds of possibilties, from a no deal brexit to a closer future relationship with the eu,
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a long delay to a general election. our deputy political editor john pienaar looks at the options. this may have been theresa may's last chance and she came up short. by 58 votes, mps voted down the divorce deal she thrashed out with the eu. plenty of battles still to come before brexit is ever settled, but if mrs may even hoped to regain any control, that hope probably died today. how? tory brexiteer resistance mostly crumbled. they feared losing brexit altogether. big hitters like borisjohnson, dominic raab, evenjacob rees—mogg, who said till today he'd oppose the deal so long as the democratic unionists did, but the hard—core stayed firm. the dup held out, fearing northern ireland could be treated differently to the rest of the uk for the sake of avoiding a hard eu border with ireland. jeremy corbyn‘s labour mps split. five, reconciled to brexit, backed the deal. most helped sink it.
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mps and cross—party factions are working on their own plans for brexit. former cabinet minister oliver letwin is one of those organising a series of votes for next week, hoping most mps can agree on one. the options — a brexit closer to the eu than mrs may's deal, maybe under the same customs rules, maybe under eu single market rules, so free movement of people could continue, or maybe both. that's been compared to the old european common market. a new referendum is an option, maybe tied to whatever brexit deal is chosen in the end. and some mps who oppose leaving with no deal and believe parliament would never allow it prefer revoking brexit, calling it off for it now orfor good. mps could still take control, ordering the government bylaw to adopt the plan mps choose. so mrs may's next move, assuming she's around long enough, doing nothing is not an option.
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there'll have to be a brexit plan made law by a withdrawal agreement bill. mps could try and force their own plans into that bill. a softer brexit may well have the most support. could any pm order tory mps and ministers how to vote or try? government discipline has all but collapsed. the next eu summit is set for a week on wednesday. the eu offered to delay brexit until may the 22nd, if the prime minister managed to get the terms of divorce through parliament. she's failed, so the deadline is set for april the 12th. that's to allow the uk to avoid the european elections. until there's a final agreement, a no—deal brexit remains possible, the outcome many fear most, maybe by accident. but the eu may offer a much longer delay. what if mps demand a new referendum? you thought brexit was close to being settled? think again. they say all political careers, all premierships, end in failure. most end in better shape than theresa may's.
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she's on the verge of leaving number ten with her authority shattered, the future of brexit still in deep doubt, demands growing louder for a general election. it's fair to ask, could any leader have done much better? either way, there's a long list of contenders keen to move into downing street and try. the headlines on bbc news: mps have rejected theresa may's withdrawal agreement for a third time, throwing the uk's brexit strategy into further confusion. the labour leader calls on the prime minister to step down immediately after the latest defeat — this time by 58 votes. there's anger on the streets of westminster as thousands of pro—brexit supporters protest the brexit delay. well, there were angry scenes both inside and outside parliament today. but what do people away
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from westminster think about the uncertainty surrounding brexit? our special correspondent lucy manning has spent the day with people at the protests. what do we want? brexit! let's get out! let's have brexit! very, very sad. very disappointed. democracy, democracy! it's rubbish. it's not leaving. i think it's an outrage. that is why i am here. they wanted it, voted for it, won it, but didn't get it. today was supposed to be brexit day. how do you sum up this day for you? how would you describe it? it's a total and utter betrayal of democracy. we were supposed to be having a party tonight, instead we're having a wake. what our politicians are saying to us is, shut up and sit down. some on this leavers' march had walked from sunderland, determined to tell westminsterjust how let down they felt.
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march 29 was not supposed to look like this, not so much a celebration but another demonstration. and amongst the brexiteers, a real sense of anger. this should have been an amazing day for england. yeah? but you've ruined it. they've ruined it.
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