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MPs to vote on Article 50 extension after rejecting no-deal Brexit

  • MPs vote to approve an amended non-legally binding motion ruling out no-deal by 321 to 278
  • Earlier the Spelman amendment won by four votes
  • The Malthouse compromise amendment was rejected

Theresa May has held out the prospect of a third “meaningful vote” on her EU Withdrawal Agreement within the next week after MPs dramatically voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister said that MPs will vote on Thursday on an extension to Article 50, which could involve a short delay to implement a deal agreed in the next few days or a longer delay if no agreement is reached.

The Government's motion will ask MPs to back an extension until June 30 to pass legislation if the Commons can back a withdrawal deal.

If the Commons has not passed a deal by next Wednesday (March 20) it is "highly likely" that the European Council would require a "clear purpose" for any extension, the motion adds.

It points out that any extension beyond June 30 "would require the UK to hold European Parliament elections" in May.

Mrs May told MPs "the options before us are the same as they always have been".

It comes after MPs supported an amended Government motion which rejects a no-deal Brexit at any time and under any circumstances by 321 votes to 278, with a majority 43.

Northern Ireland's 11 sitting MPs , including all 10 DUP MPs and Independent MP Lady Hermon, voted against the amended motion.

The motion is not legally binding.

Earlier MPs had supported the cross-party Spelman amendment, which was moved by Yvette Cooper, by just four votes - with 312 MPs in favour and 308 against.

MPs also voted against the Malthouse Compromise B amendment which sought to delay Brexit until May 22, by a majority of 210. Northern Ireland's 10 DUP MPs voted in favour of the amendment.

If the House finds a way in the coming days to support a deal, it would allow the Government to seek a short limited technical extension to Article 50 to provide time to pass the necessary legislation and ratify the agreement we have reached with the EU. Theresa May

Speaking after the main result was read out, the Prime Minister said: "The House has today provided a clear majority against leaving without a a deal, however I will repeat what I said before.

"These are about the choices this House faces. The legal default in EU and UK law is that the UK will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.

"The options before us are the same as they always have been."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded that Mrs May had repeatedly offered a choice between her deal and no deal, adding: "In the last 24 hours, Parliament has decisively rejected both."

Mr Corbyn said: "Parliament must now take control of the situation. Myself, the shadow Brexit secretary and others will have meetings with members across the House to find a compromise solution that can command support in the House."

Earlier Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the risk of no-deal "has never been higher".

"That is the risk of an exit - even by accident - by the UK from the EU in a disorderly fashion."

How events unfolded at Westminster:

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