British PM sets date for Brexit deal parliamentary vote

The 62-year-old dismissed calls from leading public figures, including former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major, for a rerun of the 2016 vote suggesting it would do "irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics".

"It would say to millions who trusted in democracy, that our democracy does not deliver," May said. "Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last."

Brexit chaos

Nearly 52 percent of Britons - more than 17 million people  voted to leave the EU during a divisive referendum held in June 2016. Turnout for the poll was more than 72 percent.

The UK is now set to leave the 28-member bloc on March 29 next year, two years after it triggered Article 50 - the exit clause in the EU's constitution - and kick-started negotiations with European leaders over a divorce deal.

But May's proposed deal, brokered after months of back-and-forth between London and Brussels, has proved widely unpopular among parliamentarians.

Last week, she pulled a so-called "meaningful vote" on the plan, acknowledging it would have been roundly rejected by the UK's lower chamber House of Commons.

The move triggered disgruntled Eurosceptic Conservative MPs to move for a vote of confidence on her leadership, which she narrowly survived in a secret ballot on December 12.

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