UK politicians reject no-deal Brexit in House of Commons vote

British politicians have voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, after Prime Minister Theresa May's plan was voted down on Wednesday.

A first non-binding vote on whether to take a no-deal Brexit off the table resulted in a 312-308 vote in favour - a majority of four.

That amendment was proposed by a group of MPs calling on the Government to rule out the no-deal Brexit.

A Government motion was also voted on, noting that Parliament does not want to leave the European Union (EU) without a deal but the legal default was to leave without one unless a plan was agreed upon.

That vote received a result of 321-278 in favour of rejecting a no-deal Brexit.

While both votes reflect politicians' desire to not have a no-deal Brexit, as the votes are not legally binding, the UK can still leave the EU without a deal if one is not agreed upon.

The United Kingdom is meant to leave the EU on March 29, but politicians have yet to settle on a plan of how to go about it.

After the vote, the Government announced Wednesday next week (local time) as the deadline for when MPs can pass a Brexit deal. 

If politicians back a new deal by then, May said the Government will seek a short extension until June 30 so it can be imposed properly.

If no deal is decided upon by next Wednesday, the Government said a longer extension will be needed.

"I do not think that would be the right outcome," said May.

"But the house needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has taken."

On Friday, the Government will seek a vote on whether to request an extension from the EU on the deadline.

An amendment voted on on Thursday sought to extend the deadline to May 22 to give certainty to businesses.

That was rejected 164-374 votes, but it was not an amendment proposed by the Government.

May's latest deal was defeated 242 votes to 391 on Wednesday, with some politicians suggesting few significant changes had been obtained since January when the Prime Minister's first deal was also voted down.

May has stressed her desire to see a plan put in place.

"I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal," she said on Wednesday.

But European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker suggested before Wednesday's vote there would be no third opportunity for Ms May to renegotiate the deal.

A key point of contention with both deals was the issue of the Irish border backstop, with the UK wanting to find ways to unilaterally leave the backstop.