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May begs MPs to approve controversial Brexit deal

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May answering a question from a lawmaker after giving a statement to the House of Commons in London on November 26, 2018. (AFP photo)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has begged lawmakers in the parliament to approve a controversial deal she has reached with the European Union on a separation from the bloc.

Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, May said Britain would be in the territory of unknown if lawmakers reject the Brexit deal that was rubber-stamped a day earlier by the EU leaders in a summit in Brussels.

“There is a choice which this house will have to make. We can back this deal ... or this house can choose to reject this deal and go back to square one,” May said, adding, “Because no-one knows what would happen if this deal doesn't pass, it would open the door to more division and more uncertainty, with all the risks that will entail.”

May faces a daunting task of gaining the approval of the parliament for her Brexit deal as many from both the opposition and her own Conservative Party have vowed to reject it on December 12, when the House convenes to vote on the agreement.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to May’s statement about the Brexit deal in Monday's session of the parliament by saying that his party was positive it would bring chaos to Britain.

“It's an act of national self-harm... For the good of the nation, the House has very little choice but to reject this deal," Corbyn said while referring to the agreement.

The Brexit deal, comprised of two separate agreements on departure and future relations, has sparked widespread concerns in Britain.

The pro-EU camp believes the deal will deprive the UK of normal privileges of membership while offering almost nothing in return. The anti-EU camp says it will make Britain a colony of the EU and London would have no right to challenge the EU’s decisions, including those affecting its province of Northern Ireland, for many years to come.

There is a high chance that Britain would be forced to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, without an agreement if the parliament rejects May’s Brexit deal.

Reports on Monday suggested that the premier and her cabinet were not quite sure whether they would gain the parliament’s approval, as they agreed to continue making preparations for a no-deal situation. Many have warned about the dire consequences of the scenario, saying it would harm both Britain and the EU on a dramatic scale.

The parliament’s rejection of the Brexit deal could also lead to May’s fall, or an early election which would put Labour to power and give it the chance to renegotiate Brexit.

However, EU leaders said in their Sunday summit that the deal finalized with May’s government was the only and the best one for the two sides, reiterating that there was no room for a renegotiation.

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