British Parliament votes to seek Brexit extension

British Labor Party leader Jeremy Crobyn (C) speaks at the dispatch box after the votes in the House of Commons in London on Thursday. Photo courtesy of the U.K. Parliamentary Recording Unit/EPA-EFE

March 14 (UPI) — The British Parliament voted Thursday request a deadline extension for withdrawing from the European Union.

Members of Parliament voted 412-202 to ask the European Union to push the Brexit deadline from March 29 to at least June 30 after failing to come to an agreement earlier in the week on the terms of the withdrawal deal. They voted Wednesday against a no-deal Brexit, leaving Prime Minister Theresa May with little choice but to bring the Article 50 extension up for a vote.

It’s now up to the European Commission to decide whether to grant the deadline extension. It requires all 27 other member states to unanimously accept it.

“It will be for the European Council to consider such a request, giving priority to the need to ensure the functioning of the EU institutions and taking into account the reasons for and duration of a possible extension,” a European Commission spokesperson said.

May said Brexit would be extended to June 30 if Parliament agrees to her withdrawal deal by March 20, but she will ask for a longer extension if there’s no agreement by then.

MPs also voted 334-85 against holding another Brexit referendum.

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn offered support for another referendum, though told other MPs in his party to vote against one.

“Today I reiterate my conviction that a deal can be agreed based on our alternative plan that can command support across the House,” he said.

“I also reiterate our support for a People’s Vote – not as a political point-scoring exercise but as a realistic option to break the deadlock.”


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