.By Max Lecester.
Britain’s Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time Friday, increasing the chances that the U.K.’s departure from the European Union will again be delayed and further pushing the country toward a constitutional crisis.
While some anti-EU lawmakers in Mrs. May’s Conservative Party switched sides to support Mrs. May, a hard-core group continued to hold out. The defeat sets the stage for a clash between Mrs. May’s government and Parliament over the direction of Brexit.
It means that, as things stand, the U.K. will leave the bloc on April 12 without any agreement to ease the expected disruption. Brexit was originally scheduled to take place Friday. With the opposition to the deal declining, Mrs. May could try for a fourth time to get her deal through—though there are procedural obstacles in the House of Commons to her doing that.
Failing that, the government is left with the choice of leaving without a deal or asking the EU for a longer extension that would likely run at least until the end of this year. EU officials said the bloc is planning to hold a summit on Brexit on April 10.
Meanwhile, Parliament is set to hold votes on Monday to determine if an alternative Brexit agreement could gain a majority. It is likely that lawmakers will support much closer ties with the EU than Mrs. May has envisioned. However, the prime minister previously said she might ignore the votes.
Write to Max Lecester at firstname.lastname@example.org