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British lawmakers back Brexit delay - Newspaper
16 March 2019, 05:12 | Devin Moran
UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit but rejects second referendum
Speaker of the House John Bercow was criticised by a number of Conservative Brexiter MPs for not selecting any of the amendments which would categorically rule out a second referendum; although, as he pointed out, any MPs strongly opposed to a second referendum could vote against Amendment H without difficulty.
May has essentially handed Brexit supporters an ultimatum - ratify her deal by Wednesday or face a long delay to Brexit that would open up the possibility that Britain never even leaves. In one unusual episode Thursday, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged Parliament to support the government's motion to seek a Brexit delay-then voted against it himself.
May says she wants to minimise any delay in leaving the European Union to just three months, but to achieve that she will need parliament to back her deal at the third time of asking early next week, possibly Tuesday.
"She didn't want there to be an extension and brought forward the withdrawal agreement twice".
Her decision to hold a third meaningful vote next week is an ultimatum for lawmakers - back her deal so that she can request a "short, technical extension" until June 30; if not, Britain will need to participate in European Parliament elections in May, or worse, risk Brexit not materialising at all.
Pro-Brexit lawmakers in May's Conservative Party have rejected her withdrawal deal-which lays out the terms of Britain's departure and the outline of the country's future relations with the European Union -because they think it keeps Britain too closely bound to the bloc's rules and regulations.
The Prime Minister is expected to step up her charm offensive to win over Tory and DUP MPs still resisting her deal in the coming days.
But the deal has remained deadlocked in parliament, chiefly by disagreement over the so-called Irish "backstop" - a measure to avoid barriers at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The government narrowly averted an attempt by lawmakers to seize the agenda on March 20 with the aim of forcing a discussion of alternative Brexit options - possibly limiting May's options when she takes her case for delay to the EU.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "She has been working tirelessly to make a deal and she will continue to do that".
Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit which has served to weaken the pound, MPs decision to take a no-deal Brexit off the table this week and avert severely damaging the United Kingdom economy gave investors a reason to send sterling higher.
Or at any point Labour could call a vote of no confidence. In the event of an extension, the question is how long it will be.
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