MPs vote to seek delay to Brexit

Posted March 16, 2019

Almost three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union, everything has come down to the wire.

The motion called for a three-month delay to Brexit - or a potentially much longer one, if parliament does not back the prime minister's deal next week.

But May is pushing for yet another vote, hoping for a more favorable outcome. But there will probably be a longer delay if they reject the agreement.

May is in favor of only a short delay, if any.

MPs are set to vote on the latest version of her Withdrawal Agreement by March 20, with Tory MPs and the DUP still seeking further legal assurances over the Irish backstop element of the deal.

"That's separate from whether you just have a long extension, rather than no deal".

If May's deal is rejected next week, ministers have warned that the European Union is only likely to agree to a longer delay, and that an alternative approach to Brexit would need to be found.

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The Brexit deadline is legally binding and can not be extended without the agreement of all other 27 European Union countries. "The impasse can only be solved in the UK". The EU rules out reworking the deal May accepted.

Verhofstadt sharply reacted to the position of Council President Donald Tusk that a long extension be granted at the summit. The argument now is really about what that new deal would look like, and with the extension of Article 50, they have a little more breathing space to process it.

The PM warned this could lead to a very lengthy delay - and Britain could end up having to stage European elections in May.

The pressure on May to deliver any sort of resolution - or perhaps step down - is growing.

"But I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful".

MPs have voted to delay Brexit beyond the scheduled date of March 29 amid dramatic scenes in the House of Commons. The answer was no, by 321 votes to 278.

Britons voted by 52-48 percent in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, a decision that has not only divided the main political parties but also exposed deep rifts in British society.

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'I'm not going to make any promises now but obviously it would need the leader of the opposition to initiate such a move, ' he told MPs. But she has made clear her plan is still on the agenda, despite twice being rejected by an overwhelming majority in Parliament, in January and again this past Tuesday.

Her own party is fracturing, as evidenced by the failure of her proposals this week as well as resignations and abstentions within her own Cabinet.

May's deal has been blocked chiefly by disagreement over the so-called Irish "backstop" - a measure to keep trade flowing and avoid friction at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Article 50 was triggered on March 29, 2017 with the United Kingdom scheduled to leave at 11pm United Kingdom time later March 29, 2019.

Some Tory Brexiteers who have also criticised the backstop - a fallback arrangements created to avoid the return of physical checks on the Irish border - and voted against the deal are now pledging their support to avoid a long extension.

It will be one of a seismic series of votes in the Commons tonight that could fundamentally change the Brexit process altogether. That last moment has arrived.

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