British MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit

British MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit

Agency News

London, Mar 14: British MPs will vote on Thursday on delaying Brexit after they have rejected leaving the European Union without a deal, paving the way for a vote to seek to delay Brexit until at least the end of June.

After a day of high drama in the Commons on Wednesday, MPs surprised the government and voted by 312 to 308 to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances, BBC reported.

The vote is not binding - under current law the UK could still leave without a deal on 29 March. There could be a short extension - or a much longer one - depending on whether MPs backed the prime minister's existing withdrawal deal that has been agreed with the EU by 20 March, the government says.

That means Theresa May could make a third attempt to get her deal through Parliament in the next few days. In a series of votes on no-deal Brexit, the Commons first voted by a margin of four to reject no deal outright.

Then, in a second vote, they reinforced that decision by 321 to 278, a majority of 43. That second vote was on a government motion, which said the UK should not leave the EU without a deal on 29 March, but with the option of a no-deal Brexit at any other time.

The government wanted to keep control of the Brexit process, and keep no-deal on the table, so they ordered Conservative MPs to vote against their own motion.

On Thursday, MPs will vote on whether to ask the EU for permission to delay the date for departure.

The speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, announced that the Thursday vote will set next Wednesday as a deadline for MPs to agree a Brexit deal. If a Brexit deal is passed by then, the British government will seek an extension of Britain's departure date from the EU until June 30.

But if the deal is not passed by Wednesday the government will need a longer extension, requiring Britain to take part in European elections.