Visit our new website:

British MPs vote to ask for Brexit delay

  • Fri, 15 Mar 2019 09:01
Thu, 2019-03-14 21:25

LONDON: Britain’s parliament on Thursday voted to ask the European Union to delay Brexit until at least June and head off a potentially calamitous end to their 46-year partnership in two weeks.
MPs, however, also voted against a proposal to hold a second referendum during the delay, dealing a blow to the hopes of pro-EU campaigners.
Britain is barrelling toward the March 29 Brexit deadline with no approved EU withdrawal agreement and a prime minister who appears to have lost control over her bickering cabinet.
Anxious businesses are pleading for action and US President Donald Trump waded in to pronounce himself “surprised to see how badly it has all gone.”
A sense of chaos filled the House of Commons this week as lawmakers held a series of votes on ideas about what they could do next.
MPs have twice rejected the deal struck by Prime Minister Theresa May with the other 27 EU nations — in January and on Tuesday.
They voted on Wednesday not to leave without an agreement but without any firm roadmap on the way forward three years after Brexit was launched in a bitterly divisive referendum.
The plan they all finally agreed on — after turning down four other proposals — was submitted by May herself: to ask EU leaders to postpone Brexit.
The motion also included a proposal to hold a third vote early next week on May’s twice-rejected deal.
It passed by a 412-202 margin, providing some welcome respite to the prime minister.
May had already lost her voice earlier in the week and did not appear to speak before the chamber after all the voting had wound down for the day.
“All of us now have the opportunity and responsibility to work together to find a solution to the crisis facing this country, where the government has so dramatically failed to do so,” said Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour party.
European Union leaders must now unanimously approve the delay. They will meet at a summit in Brussels on March 21-22.
A “no deal” exit on March 29 is still theoretically possible if May’s deal is voted down for a third time next week and the EU 27 fail to approve an extension.
EU leaders have said they would consider any request from London but that regarding a delay they would need to know for how long — and what for.
May’s plan of action is to hold a third vote on her agreement with Brussels by Wednesday.
If it were approved, she would then ask Brussels to delay the Brexit date until June 30 to allow the treaty to be ratified.
But she warned on Wednesday that if her deal were rejected next week, Brexit could be postponed for much longer.
A delay would also see Britain take part in European Parliament elections in May — bizarrely re-immersing the country in EU politics after Brexit was originally meant to have gone into effect.
EU Council chief Donald Tusk said Thursday that the bloc could approve a long postponement “if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.”
He reflected Brussels’ long-standing position that a closer relationship is possible if May is willing to compromise — notably by abandoning her opposition to joining an EU customs union.
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.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney spoke of a possible Brexit postponement of 21 months, saying: “It would give a long reflection period for the British political system to look at how they want to approach Brexit again.”
But other European leaders have warned that London must define a clear purpose to any extension.
The parliamentary deadlock reflects the deep divisions that remain in Britain three years after the referendum.
Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly failed to approve an amendment calling for a second Brexit referendum.
Only 85 MPs voted in favor and 334 voted against — a disappointment for many of the 48 percent of Britons who had voted in 2016 to stay in the EU.
The “People’s Vote” campaign said it was premature to push for a referendum now, knowing the motion would be defeated.
Labour supports the idea of a second referendum in principle, but asked its MPs to abstain.

Main category: 
British MPs set to vote on delaying BrexitBrexit set for delay after May wounded by rejection of ‘no-deal’ World


Daily Deal

Related Stories

British MPs vote for bigger role in Brexit process
  • Tue, 26 Mar 2019 19:50

Author: AFpID: 1553582315012866700Tue, 2019-03-26 06:34 LONDON: British MPs have voted to play a bigger role in Brexit, giving themselves t...

Theresa May urged to set her own exit date to get Brexit deal
  • Tue, 26 Mar 2019 05:55

Author: ReutersID: 1553504788075529300Mon, 2019-03-25 12:13LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May was under pressure on Monday to give a...

British Airways flight ends up in wrong city
  • Tue, 26 Mar 2019 04:51

Author: AFPID: 1553535568957990000Mon, 2019-03-25 15:05 LONDON: A British Airways plane flew by mistake from London to Edinburgh instead of...

Brexit in disarray as Theresa May faces possible ouster plot
  • Sun, 24 Mar 2019 22:20

Author: ReutersID: 1553429379158283100Sun, 2019-03-24 12:06 LONDON: The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union was in disarray on ...

UK firms step up preparations for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as PM Theresa May meets with EU leaders
  • Thu, 21 Mar 2019 21:48

Author: By PAN PYLAS | APID: 1553178934942107000Thu, 2019-03-21 14:29LONDON: UK companies have ratcheted up their preparations for a disorde...

British MPs set to vote on delaying Brexit
  • Thu, 14 Mar 2019 19:59

Author: AFPID: 1552542849032232700Thu, 2019-03-14 05:28 LONDON: British MPs will vote today on whether to ask the European Union for an ext...

UK, EU to hold more Brexit talks as May woos opposition
  • Tue, 05 Mar 2019 06:02

Author: Mon, 2019-03-04 22:23 LONDON: Senior EU and British officials were set to hold more Brexit talks less than a month before the United K...

Britain’s Labour Party backs Brexit referendum
  • Thu, 28 Feb 2019 15:40

Author: ReutersID: 1551336761007878400Thu, 2019-02-28 06:46 LONDON: Britain’s opposition Labour Party will support a new referendum on Br...

US seeks vote on UN resolution to allow aid into Venezuela
  • Wed, 27 Feb 2019 14:30

Author: APID: 1551230305618410000Wed, 2019-02-27 01:16 UNITED NATIONS: US envoy Elliott Abrams said Tuesday the Trump administration will s...

May’s Brexit deal, no-deal or delay? British PM offers lawmakers a choice
  • Wed, 27 Feb 2019 06:26

Author: ReutersID: 1551199842083791900Tue, 2019-02-26 16:47 LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday offered lawmakers the chance to v...

UK leader delays Brexit vote, risks further Cabinet discord
  • Mon, 25 Feb 2019 15:53

Author: By LORNE COOK | APID: 1551028277566474800Sun, 2019-02-24 16:48 SHARM EL-SHEIKH: British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Sunday...