Brexit: MPs set to vote on delaying European Union departure

March 14 12:57 2019

She sent out her whips to order Conservative MPs to vote against her bill, but many defied her, and the parliament handed the Prime Minister another heavy defeat, voting 321-278 to block a no-deal Brexit forever.

During Tuesday’s vote, 391 members of the House of Commons voted against the deal, while 242 supported it.

The turmoil leaves the world’s fifth largest economy facing a range of scenarios – it could leave without a transition deal; delay the March 29 divorce date enshrined in law; May could hold a snap election or try a third time to get her deal passed; or Britain could hold another Brexit referendum.

It comes after MPs on Wednesday voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, in an intense week of parliamentary ballots.

Prime Minister Theresa May said a no-deal Brexit can only be circumvented if the Parliament agrees to a deal or cancels Brexit, The Guardian reported. Britain’s departure from the European Union is scheduled to happen March 29, but it’s not clear now how or even whether that will occur.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has said he is disappointed that the British government has been “unable to ensure a majority for the withdrawal agreement” even after after multiple additional assurances from the EU.

Observers believe a delay is among the most likely possibilities, but the duration of such a delay is uncertain.

MPs opted to instead back an amendment ruling out “no deal” in all circumstances. But, as she noted, his plan is not so popular either.

Mrs Foster, who is attending St Patrick’s Day events this week, said DUP representatives were speaking to the government and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox about changes to the deal.

An extension that would require a separate approval from the EU.

If they reject no-deal, as most Westminster observers expect, a third vote will follow – probably on Thursday – on authorising Mrs May to request an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process.

But May was warned by European Council President Donald Tusk that the EU will give no further ground, insisting through his spokesman that “if there is a solution to the current impasse, it can only be found in London”. “We won’t know what conditions will be attached”, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay told BBC radio. “What are the choices of the British authorities?” he said in Brussels.

A group of MPs in May’s Conservative party have put forward an alternative proposal to delay Brexit until May 22 and strike a series of interim agreements with the European Union lasting until 2021.

The bloc is more open to a long delay to allow Britain to radically change course – an idea favored by pro-EU British lawmakers who want to maintain close ties with the EU.

“An extension, where we go beyond the European elections, and the European elections will be hijacked by the Brexiters”, said Verhofstadt.

The EU – openly exasperated by Britain’s continuing Brexit crisis – warned that Britain would need to present a strong reason for any extension.

“If we don’t have a deal, and if we’re still discussing among ourselves what is the right way to go forward, then it’s quite possible that the European Union may insist on a significantly longer period”, he said. Under current law the United Kingdom could still leave without a deal on 29 March, unless an extension is agreed with the EU.

Conservative lawmaker George Freeman suggested that May should promise to quit to get her deal through.

Anti-Brexit activists hold placards and wave flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday ahead of a crucial vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal

Brexit: MPs set to vote on delaying European Union departure
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