British MPs are being asked to vote on a motion tabled by Theresa May which would authorise the British Prime Minister to seek an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiations, delaying Brexit beyond March 29.
The Prime Minister’s motion says that if the House of Commons has approved her Withdrawal Agreement and the framework for the future UK/EU relationship by March 20, she will seek a one-off extension until June 30 to allow time for the necessary legislation to be passed. MPs have tabled a number of amendments to Mrs May’s proposal.
Four amendments under consideration
- The amendments are:
- Amendment H, tabled by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston and which seeks an Article 50 extension to stage a second referendum with Remain and Parliament’s preferred Brexit option on the ballot paper.
- Amendment I, tabled by Labour’s Hilary Benn and which seeks to allow MPs to take control of the Brexit process.
- Amendment E, Labour’s amendment which notes that Parliament has “decisively” rejected both Theresa May’s deal and no deal and calls for a delay to Brexit “to provide parliamentary time for this House to find a majority for a different approach”.
- Amendment J, Labour MP Chris Bryant’s amendment to stop a third meaningful vote on Mrs May’s deal.
Update: MPs have rejected an amendment which seeks to extend Article 50 to stage a second Brexit referendum by 334 votes to 85, majority 249.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged MPs not for vote for Hilary Benn’s amendment, confirming the Government will bring back another motion to Parliament before the March 29 EU exit date.
Winding up the debate he said: “The Government will make our statement under section 13.4 tomorrow setting out how the Government proposes to proceed in relation to negotiation.
“And so there will be the option of an amendable motion no later than Monday, March 25.”
He finished by saying: “It is time for this House to act in the National Interest, it’s time to put forward an extension that is realistic.”
Earlier: MPs to vote on extending Article 50
British MPs have gathered in the Commons to vote on a motion which would authorise Theresa May to seek an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiations, delaying Brexit beyond March 29.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said he is “certain” MPs would vote in favour of the British Prime Minister’s motion, adding: “Whatever happens, if we don’t get the deal through in the next couple of days, the Prime Minister has to go the European Council next week and seek an extension of time.”
MPs on Wednesday night voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
Speaker John Bercow has selected four amendments – and one amendment to an amendment – for debate, but not all of them will necessarily be pushed to a vote.
Ahead of the votes, the Independent Group of MPs are pushing ahead with a cross-party amendment calling for a new Brexit referendum despite expecting it to be voted down, sources said.
A Tig source said: “I think it would be an absolute travesty if we get to the end of this process and Parliament has been too spineless to actually press an amendment.
“We absolutely refute this idea that it is one shot. We will be bringing it every opportunity now.
“I am under no illusion, without unequivocal Labour Party support it cannot pass.
“I fully expect the Labour Party to feel the heat and to get round to backing it next week.”