British MPs vote to seek extension for Brexit

       9:54 15 March 2019
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International 9:54 15 March 2019 Post by WBJ

It is thought that the government is aiming to hold yet another (third) vote on the withdrawal agreement early next week, though it is said it is possible that under the rules of the House of Commons Mr Bercow could refuse a debate and vote on this if the agreement is still the same as the one that was rejected this week (this appears likely as the European Union has said negotiations are now over).

"I had voted against the earlier Spelman amendment during the day which its own author tried to withdraw, believing the main Government motion was more powerful".

Any delay in the Brexit process would require the unanimous approval of all 27 remaining European Union member states - and leaders in the bloc are exasperated at the events in London.

Despite the rebuffs and the political chaos that have weakened her authority, May has signaled she will try a third time to get backing for her agreement next week. He said Ireland would only consider it if it was to "implement a clear plan and strategy to reflect on and perhaps change direction in regard to Brexit". In one unusual episode Thursday, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged Parliament to support the government's motion to seek a Brexit delay - then voted against it himself.

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If the bid to take control of Brexit away from her had been passed, the third vote on Mrs May's twice-rejected deal with the European Union would have been her only remaining chance to get it through the Commons.

Even if the deadline is unanimously agreed, the Prime Minister will still need to get a deal through the Houses of Commons, which is now divided on the matter of the Irish back-stop. Either support her deal in a third "meaningful vote" next week - dubbed MV3 - or face the prospect of a very long Brexit delay, which could stretch far into the future, perhaps for a year or more. It still requires the unanimous agreement of the remaining 27 members of the EU.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said in Brussels said he wasn't sure more time was the answer.

Lidington said the delay could end up being more than a year, if no deal is agreed in the next few days. But we won't really know for sure until we get a formal statement from the government about forthcoming business.

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The EU, meanwhile, is reluctant to postpone Brexit beyond the late May elections for the European Parliament, because that would mean Britain taking part even as it prepares to leave. Today Chancellor Philip Hammond hinted that Attorney General Geoffrey Cox could revisit his legal advice on whether Britain would be trapped in the Irish backstop "indefinitely" - unlocking votes for Mrs May's deal.

The barrage of news over the last few hours over the progress of Brexit negotiations sent derivative markets into a tailspin with overnight gauges of expected moves in the pound spiking to its highest levels last seen immediately after the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016. "Go back to square one and work out. over a proper time, the final relationship".

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted yesterday he will appeal to EU leaders "to be open to a long extension if the United Kingdom finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus about it". May has warned members of Parliament that a long delay could mean no Brexit at all.

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