UK parliament votes to seek delay to Brexit

# 01:29
15 March 2019

The UK parliament on Thursday supported the government’s proposal to request Brussels to reschedule its official withdrawal from the European Union, due on March 29, to a later date, ONA reports citing BBC.

During the vote which took place in the House of Commons on Thursday, 412 members of parliament supported delaying Brexit, 202 were against.

Earlier in the day, the parliament rejected an attempt to secure another referendum on Brexit by 334 "no" votes to 85 "yes" votes.

Now the British government is to request a so-called technical delay until June 30, if the House of Commons manages to pass the draft Brexit deal until March 20.

The European Commission said the UK parliamentary vote alone was not enough to secure the delay, and the decision on postponement must now gain approval from all 27 EU member states. It cited Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which envisages extending the two-year withdrawal period, but only if the initiative gets a unanimous approval of the European Council.

"We take note of tonight’s votes. A request for an extension of Article 50 requires the unanimous agreement of all 27 member states," a commission spokesperson said in a statement. "It will be for the European Council (Article 50) to consider such a request, giving priority to the need to ensure the functioning of the EU institutions and taking into account the reasons for and duration of a possible extension."

Although the lawmakers rejected the draft deal with Brussels to specify the terms of UK’s withdrawal from the European Union for the second time on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has no plans to ditch it and hopes to see it passed on the third attempt next week.

On Wednesday, British MPs supported May's proposal to rule out Brexit without any agreement.