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UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit

By Angus McNeicein London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-03-15 02:33

UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit. [Photo/Agencies]

The United Kingdom Parliament has voted by 412 to 202 in favor of delaying the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

The result of the vote means Prime Minister Theresa May will now go to the EU and ask for an extension to Article 50, which currently stipulates that the UK will leave the EU on March 29.

All 27 EU member states must agree to grant a delay to Brexit. Heads of state, including French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, have previously stated that the UK must have a strong reason to extend its departure, beyond merely wanting to buy more time.

But on Thursday morning, European Council President Donald Tusk indicated that an extension could be granted to give the UK government some more breathing room.

"During my consultations ahead of (the leaders' summit next week), I 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," Tusk wrote on Twitter.

May has indicated she will ask for the new Brexit date to be June 30. She will now bring her EU withdrawal agreement to Parliament for a third time next week. Members have voted against the deal twice before.

May says that if members vote for her deal, the UK could leave the EU earlier than June 30. However, if they vote against it, May says there could end up being a much lengthier extension.

Contact the writer at angus@mail.chinadailyuk.com

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