Parliament has backed a plan to delay Brexit. MPs approved a motion to delay Britain’s departure from the EU beyond the end of March by 412 to 202. Despite the vote, Britain will still leave without a deal unless one can be struck in the next 15 days, or the EU agrees to an extension. The motion means that if Theresa May’s deal passes by next Wednesday, Britain will ask the EU for a short extension. If her deal does not pass, a longer extension will be sought.
Theresa May earlier secured a rare Parliamentary victory after MPs rejected an amendment that would have allowed them to take control of Commons business on March 20th away from the Government. This could have handed over time to hold a series of indicative votes on Brexit. But MPs rejected the amendment by a wafer thin margin of 314 to 312.
Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment, that would have sought an extension to Article 50 to avoid a no deal at the end of March, was also voted down. MPs rejected it by 318 to 302.
The Commons also rejected an amendment seeking a delay to the Article 50 process in order to have a second referendum. The cross-party amendment, put forward by former Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, who defected to the Independent Group earlier this month, was voted down by the Commons by 334 to 85. If the amendment had passed, it would have forced the Prime Minister to hold a public vote on remaining in the EU or leaving on ‘terms determined by Parliament’.