EU says it's 'done all it can' and the chance of no deal has 'significantly increased'
Hell is empty and all its devils are here
The House of Commons voted to reject Theresa May's draft withdrawal agreement on Tuesday evening.
A resounding verdict, the prime minister's deal was beaten by a majority of 149, 391 votes to 242. The fourth largest margin of defeat for a government in the democratic era - the first meaningful vote sits at the top.
In the immediate aftermath of the decision, an EU spokesperson said the bloc had "done all that is possible to reach an agreement" and that after repeated assurances, the onus was now on London to resolve the deadlock.
Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator overseeing Brexit, reiterated the point. He said "the EU has done everything it can to help get the withdrawal agreement over the line" and that "the impasse can only be solved in the UK."
A spokesperson for Donald Tusk, the president of the European council said: "We regret the outcome of tonight’s vote and are disappointed that the UK government has been unable to ensure a majority for the withdrawal agreement agreed by both parties in November.
On the EU side we have done all that is possible to reach an agreement. Given the additional assurances provided by the EU in December, January and yesterday, it is difficult to see what more we can do.
If there is a solution to the current impasse, it can only be found in London.
The EU, for its part, continues to stand by the withdrawal agreement, including the backstop, which serves to prevent a hard border in Ireland and preserve the integrity of the single market unless and until alternative arrangements can be found.
With only 17 days left to 29 March, today’s vote has significantly increased the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. We will continue our no-deal preparations and ensure that we will be ready if such a scenario arises.
Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity.
The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration. The smooth functioning of the EU institutions will need to be ensured.