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UK MPs vote by majority to delay Brexit

IANS  |  London 

UK MPs have voted in favour of delaying the process by at least three months, acknowledging that more time was needed to break the deadlock over Britain's departure from the (EU), although a call for a second referendum was decisively rejected.

On Thursday night, the MPs voted 412 votes to 202 to approve of Theresa May's plan to delay Brexit, after the earlier this week overwhelmingly rejected agreement by a large margin, for a second time, and then voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, reported.

The votes were the last in a series of vital parliamentary decisions on over several days, mean that Britain's departure from the EU should not now take place before June 30 and gave May a window to resuscitate her plan.

May will now ask European leaders to grant an extension to Article 50, the mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on March 29.

Unless a delay is approved by all 27 remaining EU leaders, Britain is heading for a chaotic exit on March 29.

The MPs, earlier on Thursday, rejected an attempt to secure another referendum by 334 votes to 85, the said.

They also rejected a cross-party plan to allow MPs to take control of the Brexit process to hold a series of votes on the next steps, by the narrow margin of two votes.

Meanwhile, most MPs from the ruling voted against delaying Brexit - including seven cabinet members - meaning May had to rely on and other opposition votes to get it through.

But some opposition frontbenchers resigned to defy party orders to abstain on a vote on holding another referendum.

Yvonne Fovargue, Emma Lewell-Buck, Justin Madders, Ruth Smeeth, a shadow ministerial aide, and Stephanie Peacock, all resigned to oppose one.

Meanwhile May, who has long insisted that the UK will leave the EU on March 29 with or without a withdrawal deal, also voted to delay Brexit.

Downing Street said the government was still preparing for a no-deal Brexit.

May is planning to hold another "meaningful vote" on deal by March 20.

If she wins that vote, she will ask for a one-off extension to Brexit get the necessary legislation through Parliament at an EU summit on March 21 - if not she could ask for a longer extension.

In response to Thursday night's vote, a for the said extending Article 50, would need the "unanimous agreement" of 27 EU member states.

And it would be for the leaders of those states "to consider such a request, giving priority to the need to ensure the functioning of the EU institutions and taking into account the reasons for and duration of a possible extension".

said that he would appeal to the EU leaders "to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 09:30 IST