The House of Commons has passed a bill that seeks to extend Article 50 to give it more time to get a deal with the EU.
The bill passed with a majority of 210.
The bill hopes to secure an extension to Article 50 and therefore avoid a No Deal Brexit. The bill seeks to put May’s deal before the Commons again before March 20th, should it pass at the 3rd time of asking the UK would seek an extension till June 20th.
If May’s plan is voted down again the UK will need a legitimate reason accepted by the EU to extend Article 50 for a longer period. This will means the UK would need to take part in EU Parliamentary elections.
Without changes to the backstop May’s deal is unlikely to pass and should the bill pass tonight the UK would be left in the EU for the majority of 2019. While Donald Tusk has said he will “appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it,”.. It is clear the UK will need to rethink its strategy suggesting that May would need to drop some of her red lines or head back to the people in one form or the other. Some Brexiteers have suggested they will lobby EU head of state’s to veto such an extension to force no deal.
Benn’s amendment that would have seen the Commons take control of Brexit briefly to host so-called “indicative votes” that would give MPs an idea which deals have the chance of making it through Parliament was defeated by 2 votes. However, The government announced it will hold “indicative votes” should a long extension be secured.