Theresa May wins Parliament’s backing for her plan to delay Brexit

Oscar PerryMar 15, 2019

A new vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal - which lawmakers have already rejected twice - is likely next week, when those same lawmakers will have to decide whether to back a deal they feel does not offer a clean break from the European Union, or accept that Brexit could be watered down or even thwarted by a lengthy delay.

"It has been completely consistent with Government policy to date that we should not leave on March 29 without a deal".

MPs have voted to request for an extension to Article 50 - making the prospect of a Brexit delay more likely. "It was not in the best interests of the people of Wrexham or the rest of the country".

Mr Corbyn added his party would now try in the coming days to hold cross-party talks on a compromise Brexit plan.

Brexit has become deadlocked in the British parliament, reflecting the deep divisions that remain in Britain nearly three years after the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. British legislators have already overwhelmingly rejected her European Union divorce deal twice. Twenty-four backed the motion, and 17 voted against.

Postponing Brexit gives May some respite, amid a crisis that has shredded her authority and obliterated her control of a fractious Conservative minority government. A dozen government ministers abstained rather than support May's bid to preserve the no-deal option, while another voted against, and resigned.

She is expected to bolster her pitch with fresh legal advice that may persuade her Conservative backbench foes and her erstwhile Northern Irish allies the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to vote for it.

If the delay is approved next week, May hopes to use it to enact legislation needed for Britain's departure.

Prime Minister Theresa May badly lost a vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement last night.

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However, if MPs do not support her deal next week, Brexit could be delayed well beyond three months, the prime minister will warn them on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, President of the European Council Donald Tusk took to social media to reveal that he will be appealing to the EU27 members to remain open to the idea of offering the United Kingdom a long extension period, if they need time to rethink their Brexit strategy. "They are gone now and that's their decision", he said.

Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit co-ordinator for European Parliament, said Thursday that an extension would not be granted without additional clarity from London. "Unless there is a clear majority in the House of Commons for something precise, there is no reason at all for the European Council to agree on a prolongation".

The EU said Tuesday that Britain needs to provide "a credible justification" for any delay.

He said he was surprised at "how badly" the negotiations had gone and suggested it "could have been negotiated in a different manner". She didn't listen to that and it's fine. I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.

The EU also prefers that any extension be limited, finishing before its own elections in late May.

Earlier, the US President posted on his Twitter page, reiterating he would like to see a US-UK trade deal agreed.

An amendment tabled by Labour's Chris Bryant challenges Theresa May's right under parliamentary rules to bring her Withdrawal Agreement back before the Commons for a third "meaningful vote", after it was rejected by a majority of 230 in January and 149 this week.

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