May’s Brexit plan defeated by 230 votes

Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the product of more than two years of tortuous negotiations in Brussels, was on Tuesday night overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Commons by 432 votes to 202, in a historic defeat.

特里萨•梅(Theresa May)达成的退欧协议——与布鲁塞尔方面艰苦谈判两年多的成果——周二晚在英国下议院(House of Commons)遭到432票对202票高票否决,这是一项历史性的失败。

Mrs May’s loss by 230 votes, one of the biggest defeats inflicted on any government in the past 100 years, sees the prime minister in a race against time to save her deal before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU on March 29.


Eurosceptic Tory MPs believe Mrs May’s failure in parliament makes it more likely that Britain will leave the EU without any formal deal, allowing a “clean break” from Brussels. Greg Clark, business secretary, has warned that such a scenario would be “a disaster”.

疑欧派保守党议员们认为,梅在议会受挫使英国更有可能在没有任何正式协议的情况下退出欧盟,从而让英国与布鲁塞尔“干干净净地斩断关系”。商务大臣格雷格•克拉克(Greg Clark)警告称,这一情形将是“一场灾难”。

Mrs May has until Monday to set out a plan to rescue her deal and is expected to travel to Brussels in the coming days to plead with the EU for more help in ratifying the 585-page withdrawal agreement.


Jeremy Corbyn called a vote of no confidence in the government after what he called a “catastrophic” defeat.

工党领袖杰里米•科尔宾(Jeremy Corbyn)提出进行针对政府的不信任投票,此前他称政府遭遇“灾难性”挫败。

German foreign minister Heiko Maas confirmed on Tuesday that the EU was ready to provide more assurances to Britain over the contentious backstop plan for the Irish border: “If it goes wrong tonight, there could be further talks.”

德国外长海科•马斯(Heiko Maas)周二证实,欧盟准备就有争议的爱尔兰边界后备计划向英国提供更多保证:“如果今晚出现问题,可能会有进一步谈判。”

However, the scale of Mrs May’s defeat suggests that the EU will have to offer strong legal assurances that the Irish backstop— which includes a “temporary” customs union to avoid a hard border — will not be permanent, if she is to change the mind of MPs.


Members of Mrs May’s cabinet have urged her to reach out to opposition Labour MPs to reach a compromise, while pro-European MPs are mobilising to force the government to rule out any Brexit until a withdrawal treaty is in place.


Mrs May pleaded with MPs to support her deal at the end of a five-day Commons debate, saying it was “the most significant vote any of us will have been part of in our political careers” and that it would define Britain “for decades to come”.


“A vote against this deal will be a vote for nothing more than uncertainty, division and the very real risk of no-deal or no-Brexit at all,” she told a packed Commons chamber, urging MPs to act “in the national interest”.


Labour is expected to table a motion of no confidence in the Conservative government in an attempt to force a general election, although Mrs May should win the vote with the help of the Democratic Unionist party.


With MPs threatening to seize control of Brexit from Mrs May’s stricken government, the prime minister has until Monday to convince parliament that she can still lead Britain to an orderly exit.


Within minutes of last night’s Brexit defeat, Mrs May’s top ministerial team, including chancellor Philip Hammond and Mr Clark, called business leaders to try to assure them that a Brexit deal was still possible.

昨晚退欧协议被否决后几分钟内,梅的顶级部长级官员团队,包括财政大臣菲利普•哈蒙德(Philip Hammond)和克拉克,就致电商界领袖,试图向他们保证英国退欧协议仍有可能成为现实。