MPs pass Cooper bill by majority of one The Cooper bill has passed its third reading with a majority of only one vote, 313:312

Yvette Cooper and Oliver Letwin
Yvette Cooper and Oliver Letwin block a no-deal Brexit

MPs back Cooper-Letwin bill, 313-312, to legally rule out no-deal Brexit by a single vote The backbench bill seeks to legally rule out leaving the EU without a deal and force the PM to seek further delay

MPs have narrowly backed a new bill that would legally rule out a no-deal Brexit by one vote. The bill, proposed by Labour former minister Yvette Cooper and former Tory minister, Sir Oliver Letwin, was rushed through the Commons in an evening of parliamentary drama. The European Union Withdrawal (No 5) Bill would legally rule out leaving the bloc without a deal and force the Prime Minister to seek further Article 50 extension. It passed its third reading by 313 to 312.

‘Clarity’ of delay Although Theresa May already indicated she would request a further postponement to Brexit day, Ms Cooper said her legislation would allow “more clarity” over any delay. “The Bill simply provides for a simple, practical and transparent process to underpin the Prime Minister’s plan,” she told MPs. “It makes sure the extension has the support of the House of Commons but also that we keep that parliamentary safeguard in place.” The plan was opposed by the government on the grounds that it cuts across an international negotiation which has to be approved by the European Union.

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