British lawmakers have voted to delay Brexit beyond deadline day – March 29 – and seek a short extension from Brussels, on the condition MPs support Prime Minister Theresa May’s twice defeated deal by Wednesday of next week.
MPs in the house of commons voted in favor of the government motion by 412 votes to 202. The motion instructs May’s Tory administration to request from the EU an extension to Article 50 and delay Brexit until June 30 to secure a deal.
The adoption of the government motion, which came after a string of House defeats, has apparently reinvigorated Theresa May and her cabinet, according to her spokesman at least.
“The cabinet collectively agreed to redouble their resolve in working to deliver on the result of the referendum to leave the European Union by securing support for a deal,” the spokesman said.
Following the vote, which result was quite expected, Labor leader Jeremy Corbin has yet again called for a public vote on the matter, calling it the only proper way to untangle the Brexit deadlock.
“Tonight I reiterate our conviction that a deal can be agreed based on our alternative plan that can command support across the House. And I also reiterate our support for a public vote not as political point-scoring but as a realistic option to break the deadlock,” Corbyn said.
The voting has apparently seen another ministerial rebellion, as a handful of ministers yet at again voted against the government-tabled motion.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the whole vote came from Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, who voted against the Article 50 extension.
The day of debate saw a relatively low turnout of MPs, particularly on the government benches, on what is commonly seen as one of the most important constitutional issues the UK has faced in its history.
Despite a lack of parliamentarians, tensions came to the boil over the Labour Party refusing to back the amendment calling for a second referendum. The SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford branded Jeremy Corbyn’s party a “disgrace.”
Backbench Tory Brexiteer Christopher Chope, caused a stir after claiming that he would “consider” a vote of no confidence in the Tory Government if Labour tabled one -becoming the first Conservative MP to explicitly say so in publicly.
Social media has been dominated by those frustrated at the apparent mess MPs have found themselves in over Brexit.
There’s been a mixed reaction from the EU to the prospect of the UK requesting a delay to Brexit.
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 UK a long extension period, if they need time to rethink their Brexit strategy.
According to an official for President Emmanuel Macron, France will not support delaying Brexit if it simply means revisiting May’s Withdrawal Agreement, insisting it is “out of the question.”
“So it’ll either be a no-deal now, or a change of plan from London, of which we see no sign at the moment,” the official added.
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