PM commits to vote on no-deal or Brexit delay

PM commits to vote on no-deal or Brexit delay

Labour officially moved to back a referendum on Wednesday night, in adherence with their Brexit policy agreed at a conference in September, after seeing their own plans rejected by 323 to 240 MPs in the House of Commons.

Parliament voted down an alternative Brexit plan from Labour on Wednesday.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, told ITV that Labour would back a second referendum amendment when Theresa May presents her revised Brexit deal to MPs, which she has promised to do by March 12.

French President Emmanuel Macron said if Britain needs more time, he would support an extension if it were justified. Firstly, they will be given a say on whether to support leaving the European Union with "no deal", or extending the Article 50 process.

Her move, earlier this week, was created to head off another potential government defeat when MPs voted on Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment on delaying the Brexit deadline, which passed 502 votes to 20, with only a small group of Tory hard Brexiteers voting against it.

The Scottish MP's apparent defiance of her party's policy raised eyebrows in Westminster, but a party source said it was a "genuine mistake". "We are absolutely in agreement, and I have talked to Theresa May about this in Sharm el-Sheik a couple of days ago, the exit agreement is valid", Merkel said.


As it stands, a second referendum amendment on the same day as May's meaningful vote would have to be voted on first, meaning MPs would have to make a decision on backing it before it was clear whether the prime minister's agreement would pass.

That is now in serious doubt. Should the EU-27 grant this, both the Commons and Lords must also vote to allow the now legally binding exit date of March 29 to be changed.

"She seems to be giving us a date for a new cliff edge - the end of June", veteran pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Kenneth Clarke said of May's statement.

Why has she done that?

With just a month to go until Brexit, the ultimate outcome is unclear with scenarios ranging from a last-minute deal to another referendum that May has warned would reopen the divisions of the referendum or even scupper Brexit. That could have destroyed her government and allowed MPs to seize control of the process from her.

There is growing momentum in Parliament against a no-deal, and it is therefore most likely this option will get voted down barring a big change in sentiment, although that is by no means guaranteed. It means a situation whereby the United Kingdom and European Union fail to agree a withdrawal agreement under the terms of the two-year Article 50 process which began in March 2017. That's a pretty obvious hint that if and when the Commons has the chance to vote to prevent a no-deal and slam the brakes on instead, there will be a very strong Tory resistance.


After the result in the Commons, shadow Brexit spokesman Matthew Pennycook said it was "now time to wholeheartedly get behind efforts to facilitate a new public vote that includes the option of staying in the EU".

So Brexit is going to be delayed?

He said he would vote for May's deal and the United Kingdom should not fear from a no-deal Brexit.

"It was put to me earlier that this was a course that we should not adopt because of the social unrest it might cause". She recalled that Britain would first have to request an extension and the remaining 27 European Union countries would have to agree to it unanimously.

But Brexit is still going to happen, right?

Richard Leonard told BBC Scotland that the move could be the only way to break the deadlock at Westminster.


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