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British MPs delay Brexit

The British Parliament has voted to postpone Britain's exit from the European Union, with 412 MPs voting for the delay and 202 against.

British MPs delay Brexit
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  • Staff Reporter
  • March 15, 2019
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This is the third day of big Brexit debates and votes in the Commons. On Tuesday, MPs rejected the government's Brexit deal for the second time in a 'meaningful vote' and Wednesday saw MPs vote to reject a 'no deal' Brexit.

Thursday's vote will see the extension of the Article 50 period. Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty sets out how a member state leaves the European Union, with a two year period between the member state "triggering" the Article and the day that the state leaves the Union.

The UK government triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017 so is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. However, since the Article 50 period has been extended, the UK will now remain a member of the European Union during this period.

The delay envisaged in the motion passed by MPs could last until 30 June, however this will need to be approved by the other EU members, whose leaders meet next Thursday.

The Prime Minister Theresa May earlier cautioned that if the parliament does not support a deal or leaving without a deal on 29 March, then there will need to be a much longer extension to Article 50. 

"Such an extension would undoubtedly require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019," the PM said in a statement before the parliament on Wednesday. 

"I do not think that would be the right outcome. But the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has taken," she added. 

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