British parliamentarians will today vote on whether to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union, after ruling out a no-deal departure on Wednesday.
The government has tabled a motion proposing an extension of the March 29 departure date until June 30 if lawmakers approve the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May by Wednesday.
The deal has already twice been overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers, but May warned that if it was not approved, a longer extension would be needed, meaning Britain would have to take part in European Parliament elections in May.
“I do not think that would be the right outcome,” May said. But the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has
The prime minister suffered another humiliating defeat late Wednesday when lawmakers backed a cross-party amendment to a government motion, rejecting a no-deal Brexit at any time.
The government’s original motion had only ruled out a no-deal Brexit on March 29 but otherwise left the possibility open.
But after Wednesday’s vote an EU spokeswoman said it was not enough to rule out a no-deal Brexit. “You have to agree to a deal,” she said. “We have agreed a deal with [May] and the EU is ready to sign it.”
Earlier in the day, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier also said Brussels would need to know what Britain wanted before agreeing to a possible extension.