MPs vote to delay Brexit by at least 3 months

Theresa May and the Conservative frontbench await the result of vote on her Brexit deal, March 12, 2019.Theresa May and the Conservative frontbench await the result of vote on her Brexit deal, March 12, 2019.UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

  • MPs have voted by 412 to 202 to delay Brexit beyond March.
  • The UK is scheduled to leave in just two weeks, but the decision by parliament means May will now request an Article 50 extension of at least three months.
  • The prime minister could request a significantly longer delay to Brexit if MPs reject her deal for a third time next week.
  • All other 27 EU member states would have to agree to an Article 50 extension.

LONDON - Members of Parliament have voted to delay Brexit with just two weeks until the planned departure date as Theresa May struggles to get her deal through the House of Commons.

MPs on Thursday voted by 412 to 202 for a motion which instructs the prime minister to ask the European Union for an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.

If accepted by all the 27 other EU member states, it means that the United Kingdom will not leave the EU on March 29 as originally scheduled.

May has told MPs that if they agree to back a Brexit deal by Wednesday next week, the UK's departure will only have to be delayed by three months, meaning Brexit would take place on June 30.

However, if the House of Commons does not approve a deal by Wednesday, the UK government will be forced to ask for a much longer delay, in order to create time to find a new way forward, the prime minister has said.

The move comes after MPs voted to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances on Wednesday evening.

Theresa May keeps control of the Brexit process

In other votes on Thursday, the government narrowly defeated a hugely significant amendment which would have given MPs power to control what should happen next if May failed to get her deal through.

The amendment - tabled by senior backbench MPs including Labour's Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper - would have paved the way for "indicative votes" on a series of alternatives to May's deal, including a softer Brexit.

The House of Commons rejected it by 314 votes to 312, giving the government a majority of just two votes.

Elsewhere, MPs comprehensively rejected an amendment tabled by the Independent Group's Sarah Wollaston, which called for Brexit to be delayed in order to hold a new referendum, by votes 334 to 85.

Swathes of MPs who support a fresh referendum, or what campaigners call a "People's Vote," did not support the amendment as they believed it was the wrong time to push for it.

The prime minister plans to put her Withdrawal Agreement to a third "meaningful vote" next week, despite the fact it has already being rejected comprehensively on two occasions.

More follows...

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

{{}}
Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.