The vote leaves open whether the delay will allow time to implement the existing deal or to find a new course of action.
Commons voted in favour of delaying Brexit day beyond March 29, either to give time to implement a deal or to give time for an alternative course of action.
MPs voted by 412 to 202 (a majority of 210) in favour of a government motion that Theresa May was effectively forced into laying before the house after parliament voted Wednesday night to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
The motion sets out two scenarios for extending the Article 50 negotiation period. In the first, the House of Commons approves the prime minister’s deal by Wednesday March 20. She then goes to the European Council summit the following day requesting an extension until June 30 simply to get technical Brexit legislation through parliament.
May is expected to bring her deal back for a third meaningful vote on Monday or Tuesday next week to try and make this happen.
The second scenario deals with no approval for her deal by March 20. In that case, May will still go to the European Council seeking the extension. But the motion also notes that the EU would be “highly likely” to require a “clear purpose” for an extension, and that any extension beyond June 30 “would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.”
The latter element, simply stating the legal position that British MEPs will need to sit in the new European Parliament if the U.K. is a member when it is formed, appears to be aimed at spooking Brexiteers into voting for May’s deal to prevent such a scenario.
People’s Vote campaign asked Labour not to back a second referendum!
The earlier vote, proposing a ‘second referendum’ was voted down! The amendment put down by former Tory MP Sarah Wollaston It was defeated by 334 votes to 85, a majority of 249.
The call was put in an amendment by former Tory now Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston.
The fate of the amendment was sealed after the People’s Vote campaign asked MPs who back the referendum not to back it and Labour said it would abstain.
The master of spin, Alastair Campbell, a leading figure in the People’s Vote campaign, claimed it was “wrong to press a people’s vote amendment today when the issue is [article 50] extension”.
He said a second referendum was “a possible solution to the current crisis, not an option within it” and that there would be more opportunities ahead when other options to solve the Brexit crisis had been exhausted.
Not trusting the People’s vote 25 Labour remain MPs broke the party whip and voted for a second referendum
Parliament also narrowly rejected a plan for backbench MPs to seize control of the Brexit process from the government by 314 votes to 312.