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House of Commons throws weight behind delay to Brexit

MPs voted by 412 to 202 - a majority of 210 - to back an extension to Article 50.

MPs have voted to back delaying Brexit by a minimum of three months after a tumultuous week at Westminster.

The House of Commons backed an extension to Article 50 by 412 votes to 202, a majority of 210, which the Prime Minister has vowed to take back to Brussels in the form of an official request.

The UK still remains poised in law to leave the EU on March 29, but Theresa May will now seek to push that date back to June 30 at the earliest.

She has warned Parliament that if it fails to back her Brexit deal in next week's third "meaningful vote", a much longer postponement will be required.

It comes after the withdrawal agreement May struck with Europe last year was emphatically defeated for a second time on Tuesday, followed by a vote the next day rejecting a no-deal Brexit.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1436262-brexit-mps-vote-to-reject-leaving-the-eu-without-a-deal/ | default

All 27 EU member states must agree to extend Article 50, with a decision expected at next week's European Council meeting.

Some EU leaders have indicated they will only support a delay to Brexit if the UK is clear about the purpose for it, such as to hold a general election or second EU referendum - the so-called People's Vote.

An amendment to Thursday's motion calling for a People's Vote was comprehensively rejected by the Commons by 334 votes to 85 - a majority 249.

The vote, brought by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston, fell despite backing from the Lib Dems and the SNP after the bulk of Labour MPs abstained.

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford called Labour "absolutely spineless" and "the midwives" to Prime Minister's Brexit.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1436268-brexit-robert-the-bruce-s-spider-has-a-message-for-may/ | default

Three other amendments also fell - with one cross-party proposal tabled by Labour's Hilary Benn calling for MPs to take control of parliamentary business beaten by just two votes.

The motion would have seen the House seize control of the Commons agenda from the government next Wednesday to hold a series of votes on Brexit options, but it was voted down by 312 to 314.

It narrowly spared the government from a third successive day of Commons defeats after a torrid week for the Prime Minister.

A Labour amendment demanding a delay to Brexit in order to "find a majority for a different approach" was defeated by 302 votes to 318, a majority of 16.

Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant chose not to move his amendment, which called on Theresa May to be blocked from bringing another meaningful vote on her Brexit deal before MPs.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1436270-theresa-may-to-bring-brexit-deal-back-for-third-vote/ | default

Thursday's votes came as US president Donald Trump claimed Brexit was ripping Britain apart and warned that another EU referendum would be "unfair".

Speaking during Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's visit to the White House, Trump said: "I'm surprised at how badly it's all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation.

"I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it. She didn't listen to that and that's fine - she's got to do what she's got to do.

"I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now."

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