British lawmakers vote in favour of delaying Brexit

After voting against a second withdrawal agreement, as well as against leaving without a deal, MPs in the House of Commons have now voted to delay Brexit

The House of Commons has voted in favour of extending Brexit and against holding a second referendum
The House of Commons has voted in favour of extending Brexit and against holding a second referendum

A UK government motion which will seek to request permission from the European Union for Britain to delay its exit from the union was approved by the House of Commons on Thursday.

MPs voted in favour of the motion by 412 votes in favour and 202 against – a majority of 210 votes.

The motion states that Article 50 will be extended until 30 June, if MPs approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal by 20 March. In the absence of a deal, government will be empowered to seek a more substantial extension, provided that the EU can agree to this.

MPs however rejected a proposal for holding a second referendum which was put forward by a Sarah Wollaston, a former Conservative MP who resigned from the party last month to join a breakaway group opposing Brexit.

Following the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged May to accept that her deal and a no-deal scenario are no longer a viable option. He called for another public vote on the issue in order to break the current deadlock.

Parliament this evening held a series of votes, starting with an amendment by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston, requesting an extension of Article 50 – with the aim of holding another referendum.

The amendment was rejected by 334 votes in favour and 85 against. The majority of the Labour Opposition abstained in the vote.

Labour’s Hilary Benn moved an amendment to allow MPs to take control of the parliamentary business and potentially hold indicative votes, on 20 March.

His colleague Lucy Powell moved an amendment to Benn’s specifying that any extension to the Brexit process should end by 30 June.

Powell’s amendment was narrowly defeated, with 314 votes in favour and 311 votes against. Benn’s amendment was also defeated by with 314 votes in favour and 312 against.

An amendment tabled by Corbyn, which rejects the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement, rejects a no-deal scenario, seeks an extension to Article 50 to avoid a no-deal exit and for the House to find a different approach was also defeated, with 318 votes in favour and 302 votes against.

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