A resolution to separate Barbuda from Antigua was voted down by MPs in that country's parliament on Monday.
On Monday morning ten government MPs all voted not to start proceedings that would allow Barbuda to have a separate future from Antigua.
The government MPs did so in the absence of both opposition members, one of whom had initially called for the secession debate.
Barbuda MP Trevor Walker, a member of the Barbuda Council, had earlier written to the Cabinet Secretary requesting the start of the necessary steps to discuss a separate future for Barbuda.
But after three days of debate the idea was rejected by parliamentarians who thought the smaller island was better off sticking with the mainland.