U.K. Parliament To Vote On Postponing Brexit

U.K. Parliament To Vote On Postponing Brexit

Following the Commons move on no deal, the Government put down a motion for debate on Thursday that offers to seek a one-off extension of Article 50, delaying the scheduled Brexit date of March 29 to June 30 if MPs approve the deal negotiated with the European Union by next Wednesday.

Theresa May warned MPs on Wednesday (13 March) that she could be forced to request a lengthy extension to Brexit talks, which would mean United Kingdom involvement in the European elections in May, after suffering another parliamentary defeat to her Brexit plans.

She has been forced to allow a free vote on the issue to avoid mass resignations from ministers opposed to a no-deal Brexit.

Conservative MP Sarah Newton resigned from her role as a junior minister in order to vote against the government.

MPs voted in the House of Commons against the terms of Britain's so-called divorce from the European Union (EU) by 391 to 242. In the long run, the government says a no-deal scenario would leave the economy 6 percent to 9 percent smaller over 15 years than remaining in the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister should accept that her deal and no deal were "no longer viable options".

And by the far narrower margin of 314-312, MPs voted down a cross-party bid for Parliament to seize control of the Brexit process.

The prospect of a long extension period would be the stuff of nightmares for hardline eurosceptics, anxious that Brexit may never happen and could strengthen PM May's hand as she pushes to get her deal over the line.

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The result paves the way for politicians to approve an extension to the Brexit timeline in a vote in parliament later Thursday.

For the business community, including the entertainment industry, Thursday's vote does not change their immediate status but prolongs the uncertainty they have faced over the past three years, since the 2016 referendum in which a slim majority of British voters chose to pull their country out of the European Union.

Deals proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May (and agreed with the EU) have twice failed to get through the House of Commons.

Lawmakers have held a series of votes on how to proceed with the Brexit deadline two weeks away.

May gave them a boost on Wednesday, telling parliament: "We could leave with the deal which this government has negotiated, but subject to a second referendum, but that would risk no Brexit at all".

After a day of high drama, MPs defied the government by voting 321 to 278 in favour of a motion that ruled out a potentially disorderly "no-deal" Brexit under any circumstances. Britain will need to show how it could use more time to find a way forward, when it has so little to show for two-plus years of political infighting.

It comes as the culmination of a week of furious votes in Parliament, in which May's withdrawal agreement was overwhelmingly voted down for the second time on Tuesday, On Wednesday, lawmakers voted to reject a "no deal" Brexit. The motion is not legally binding and does not rule out Britain leaving the EU.

The source warned that Mrs May had to tell Brussels her plans the moment MPs asked for an extension to give the EU-27 time to prepare their response for next week.

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