MPs vote to delay Brexit
Date published: 15 March 2019
Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale
British MPs have voted to delay Brexit after a series of votes just a couple of weeks before the UK is supposed to leave to European Union on 29 March.
On Tuesday (12 March), MPs rejected Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement for a second time, before rejecting leaving the EU without a deal the following day.
A vote to delay Brexit was reached on Thursday (14 March), after deals proposed by Mrs May, and agreed with the EU, have failed to pass. The prospect of a second referendum was rejected the same day.
However, as the law has not been changed – Wednesday and Thursday's votes were not legally binding – the UK is still set to leave on 29 March – with or without a deal.
Yet the Brexit deadline cannot be extended without the agreement of all 27 other EU countries.
British MPs agreed a three-month delay on Thursday – delaying Brexit until 30 June – on the condition that a deal is agreed by Wednesday 20 March.
However, the British government will still have to win the EU’s approval to extend the deadline.
If a deal is not agreed by then, EU leaders are contemplating a much longer delay.
Addressing the events of the week, Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd said: “Over three days this week the House has rejected the Prime Minister’s central proposals.
“Once again, her unloved deal was defeated by the fourth biggest margin the House of Commons has ever seen.
“The House has also voted to rule out a ‘no deal’ Brexit in one of the most bizarre nights of voting I have ever witnessed.
“The Government whipped against its own motion and yet they were still defeated. Last night the House voted to extend Article 50.
“Incredibly, after all those defeats, the Prime Minister is still hoping to put her rotten deal back for a third time with the threat of her deal, or no deal.
“Jeremy Corbyn made it clear that Labour will reach out across the party divide to build a majority in Parliament for progress.
“We have put forward a plan for Brexit, a plan which would protect jobs, workers’ rights and environmental standards.
“If we cannot get that plan through then other remaining options must be put to the Commons, including the option for a second referendum.
“Grown-up politics means reaching out to MPs across different political parties.
“Sadly, Theresa May has not done this.
“MPs from all sides must now take control of the process and move the country forward.”
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