January 15, 2019 / 8:10 PM / a month ago

'Keep calm and carry on', Austria urges after UK Brexit vote

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz delivers a speech during a debate on the results of the Austrian presidency of the E.U. for the last six months, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Theresa May to act swiftly to avert a ‘no-deal’ Brexit after British lawmakers rejected a withdrawal deal she had agreed with Brussels, adding that the deal would not be renegotiated.

Britain’s lower house of parliament voted 432-202 against May’s deal, the worst parliamentary defeat for a government in recent British history. Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, a date it has set in law.

“Result of today’s vote in the Commons means prolongation of uncertainty, which is bad for all of us,” Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl tweeted. “Orderly Brexit remains possible but UK gov. must act quickly. Austria is prepared for all scenarios. Keep calm and carry on.”

Austria held the rotating presidency of the European Union for the second half of 2018, during which the deal between London and Brussels was finalised.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said there would be no changing that accord, despite parliament’s rejection.

“I regret the outcome of the Brexit vote in the British lower house in London,” he tweeted. “In any case there will be no renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.”

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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