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British Parliament backs Brexit delay

16 March, 2019, 04:13 | Author: Taylor George
  • Merkel ally floats idea of broader talks with UK if Brexit delayed

"Those discussions will continue", DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said on Friday after talks with government ministers in London. Yet it has also twice rejected, by historically overwhelming margins, Prime Minister Theresa May's deal with the European Union for something in between.

But there was some good news for May, as lawmakers rejected an attempt to strip her of control over Brexit.

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.

The House of Commons defeated the idea by just two votes, 314-312, leaving May least temporarily in charge of the Brexit agenda.

Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said it would be "extremely difficult" but "still possible to deliver Brexit on 29 March with a deal". However, MPs categorically rejected an amendment that called for a second Brexit referendum.

There is some controversy about the third "meaningful vote", given that, ordinarily, parliament would not be able to vote on the same thing a few times.

Postponing Brexit gives May some respite, amid a crisis that has shredded her authority and obliterated her control of a fractious Conservative minority government.

So after more than two and half years steeped in stalemates, Parliament finally agreed on something: additional time to debate the same deal it's already twice rejected, while giving concerned businesses and an exhausted public no new assurances on how this will end.

But another defeat for her deal, a third in a row, could lead May to decide the game is up and that it is time to quit.

May also needs to win over the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that props up her minority government in parliament and which has so far refused to back her plan.

But her Attorney General Mr Cox told Parliament the risk of getting locked into the backstop indefinitely had not changed, and it was later rejected by 149 votes.

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Charles Walker, a senior Tory backbencher, has said May will have to hold one.

If May's deal is approved, she hopes to use a delay until June 30 to enact legislation needed for Britain's departure.

May has essentially handed Brexit supporters an ultimatum - ratify her deal by next Wednesday or face a long delay to Brexit that would open up the possibility that Britain never even leaves.

"Although a no-deal exit was voted down, we can not predict what will happen because it depends on how negotiations with the European Union will go, We will have to watch developments closely", Aso said.

The move would require the agreement of the other 27 European Union members, with talks about any conditions for an extension set to begin before leaders gather at a summit next week.

Officials and national leaders in the bloc are exasperated at the events in London. This would be the logical conclusion of the votes passed in parliament this week, should an extension be denied. "Unless there is a clear majority in the House of Commons for something precise, there is no reason at all for the European Council to agree on a prolongation".

This prospect would not displease US President Donald Trump, who has pleaded in the past for a "hard" Brexit.

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

Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries also voted against a delaying Brexit and has raised concerns about a second referendum being the next step.

She blamed prime minister Theresa May for the current state of the Brexit negotiations and said after listening to people living in Makerfield could not support putting the question back to the people.

Following the vote European Council president Donald Tusk indicated that the EU may be ready to offer a lengthy extension to negotiations if the United Kingdom wants to "rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it".

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