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Brexit deal's defeat sparks chaos: Germany calls it 'bitter day' for Europe, Ireland fears Britain's hard exit; how EU reacted to vote

The EU and European governments warned Tuesday that the British Parliament's rejection of a Brexit deal heightened the risk of a disorderly withdrawal from the bloc.

Following are some of the key reactions to the vote, which saw MPs vote by a massive 432 to 202 votes against the agreement

"I urge the United Kingdom to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up," — European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

 Brexit deals defeat sparks chaos: Germany calls it bitter day for Europe, Ireland fears Britains hard exit; how EU reacted to vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May, top center, listens to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after losing a vote on her Brexit plan. AP

"The Withdrawal Agreement is a fair compromise and the best possible deal. It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe. It is the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

"The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom has increased with this evening's vote. While we do not want this to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared."

"If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?" EU Council president Donald Tusk, who added the remaining EU27 "will remain united".

"It's now up to the British government to say what the next stage is. The EU will remain united and determined to find a deal," the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said.

Ireland said it would intensify preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

"Regrettably, the outcome of tonight's vote increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit. Consequently, the government will continue to intensify preparations for such an outcome," Dublin said in a statement. Germany said it is a bitter day for Europe.

"This is a bitter day for Europe. We are well prepared — but a hard Brexit would be the least attractive choice, for the EU and GB (Great Britain)." — German Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

"A hard Brexit will be the worst of all options," said Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU party and her likely successor. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, in a tweet, said "In any case, there will be no renegotiations on the withdrawal agreement."

French President Emmanuel Macron cast doubt on chances the EU will renegotiate Britain's exit deal after British lawmakers roundly rejected the one their government reached with the EU.

Macron said Tuesday night: "I don't really believe in this, because we already went as far as we could."

He told British leaders to "figure it out yourselves" and wished them "good luck" in figuring out a way to leave the EU on March 29 without a clear plan.

Spainish premier Pedro Sanchez said "An unordered exit would be negative for the EU and catastrophic for the UK."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2019 08:20:21 IST

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