Brexit to be delayed after MPs vote to permanently rule out a no-deal scenario

Written by Tom Freeman on 14 March 2019 in News

MPs expected to back a delay to the UK's leaving date after chaotic scenes in the House of Commons

Brexit protests outside UK parliament - PA

MPs voted to permanently rule out a no-deal Brexit last night in chaotic scenes which saw Theresa May vote against her own motion and then tell MPs she will make them vote on her deal again.

After the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU was comprehensively rejected by MPs on Tuesday, a cross-party amendment to reject a no-deal Brexit in all circumstances was backed by 312 votes to 308.

The Commons then voted on a motion tabled by May which only ruled out leaving with no deal on 29 March, but left it as an option in the future.

Several ministers, including Scottish secretary David Mundell, defied the Government whip to abstain after being told by Number 10 that they would keep their jobs.

The vote was welcomed by European leaders including Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Despite the series of defeats, May insisted she will continue to pursue the deal based on her own red lines, indicating she may make a third attempt to get her deal through Parliament in the next few days.

If approved, it would mean only a short delay to Brexit and the UK would leave on 30 June. If it is rejected again then the UK would seek a longer extension, opening up the possibility the UK could take part in European Parliament elections in May.

May said: “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.”

Labour said it will work across the House of Commons to seek a compromise solution.

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Lesley Laird, said: “The Commons has sent a message to Theresa May – no deal must come off the table.

“For months the Prime Minister claimed that No Deal was better than a bad deal - that was reckless and irresponsible.

“Parliament must now back and extension to article 50 so we can work our way out of those Brexit mess.”

The SNP joined voices calling for Mundell to resign for abstaining in a vote he said would back.

Drew Hendry MP said: "Yet again, Scottish Tory MPs have abandoned the wishes and interests of their own constituents, by voting to keep a disastrous No-Deal Brexit on the table.

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and we know that any form of Brexit would be devastating for jobs, living standards, our public services and the economy.

“It is shameful that Scottish Tory MPs have voted to completely ignore the wishes of their own constituents and enable a Brexit that could cause a recession and cost 100,000 Scottish jobs.”

Explaining his decision on twitter, Mundell said: “I’ve always opposed a no deal Brexit. The House made its view clear by agreeing the Spelman amendment, I didn’t think it was right for me to oppose that.

“The PM has my full support in her objective of leaving the EU with a Deal to deliver an orderly Brexit.”

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