Lawmakers in the House of Commons on Thursday voted 412 to 202 for a motion tabled by the government which is aimed at requesting a one-off delay to Brexit negotiation period for three more months.
The motion by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has reiterated that such a delay to Brexit, which is aimed at preparing legislation required for leaving the EU, would have a high chance of approval in an EU summit on March 21 if the Commons agree on a withdrawal deal a day before that.
The motion stresses that if the Commons reject May’s Brexit deal, the EU could reject the request for the extension of the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, a mechanism Britain triggered following the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
“Parliament agrees that if lawmakers approve a divorce deal by March 20, the government will seek to agree ‘a one-off extension’ until June 30 to pass legislation needed to smooth Britain’s departure from the EU,” read the motion.
Before the vote on government’s motion, the Commons voted against a series of amendments, including one seeking a second referendum on Brexit. An amendment seeking to wrest control of Brexit process from the government and give it to the parliament was narrowly rejected by 314 to 312.
The votes came a day after British lawmakers voted to rule out an option to leave the EU without a deal. However, with votes on Thursday and given EU’s repeated assertions that it would not change its position on Brexit, there is still a chance that Britain could crash out of the EU on March 29, a disorderly scenario which many believe could have dire economic impacts for the UK.