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Brexit: MPs back delay bill by one vote

Posted in World

Published on April 10, 2019 with No Comments

Members of Parliament in England have voted by a majority of one to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process, in a bid to avoid any no-deal scenario. Labour’s Yvette Cooper led the move, which the Commons passed in one day. It will need Lords approval to become law, while it would be up to the EU to decide whether to grant any extension. A government spokesperson said it was “disappointed” that MPs backed the bill, which came after Theresa May met Jeremy Corbyn for Brexit talks.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested that he expects Brussels to insist on a lengthy delay to Brexit and described a public vote to approve any final deal as “a perfectly credible proposition”. Ms Cooper’s attempts to prevent a no-deal departure from the EU passed by 313 votes to 312. The draft legislation by the former Labour minister would force the prime minister to ask the EU for an extension to the Article 50 process beyond 12 April and would give Parliament the power to decide the length of this delay. The government’s attempt to limit the bill’s powers resulted in a 180-vote defeat – the second biggest defeat for a government in modern times.

Responding to the Commons vote, the government said the bill would place a “severe constraint” on its ability to negotiate an extension to the Brexit deadline before 12 April, the date the UK is due to exit.


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