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MPs vote in favour of extending Article 50

BREXIT could be delayed after MPs voted in favour of extending Article 50 today.

A total of 412 MPs voted for a motion tabled by Prime Minister Theresa May and 202 voted against it.

It seeks an extension until end of June to allow time for the legislation to be passed if her twice-rejected Withdrawal Agreement is approved by MPs.

Three amendments to the motion – including one that called to extend Article 50 to specifically hold another referendum – were rejected.

Alex Gordon, convener of Lexit — the Left Leave coalition during the 2016 referendum on EU membership – told the Star that the series of votes this evening, as well as the one last night to rule out no-deal, are “effectively meaningless.”

He said that from now with only 14 days to go until the Brexit date of March 29, significant action must be taken by Parliament if it is to avoid leaving on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. Even though MPs voted to extend article 50, the 27 remaining EU nations would still have to unanimously agree to allow it.

“It’s not enough for Parliament to pass pious resolutions,” Mr Gordon said. He referred to a poll by YouGov yesterday that showed 37 per cent of those polled wanted to leave the EU on WTO terms, while 33 per cent were in favour of cancelling Brexit, and 17 per cent were in favour of extending article 50.

He continued: “There is a very big gulf – that is being made apparent by the debates this week – between the majority of the country and those who are meant to be representing people in Parliament who are opposed to Brexit in any meaningful form.

“The labour movement needs to focus on leaving the EU, and rebuilding Britain based on the policies centred around jobs and ending austerity that are in the Labour manifesto.”

In the Commons, amendment H tabled by Independent Group MP Dr Sarah Wollaston called for an extension specifically to hold another referendum, which was roundly rejected by 334 votes to 85.

Cross-party amendment I tabled by Labour MP Hilary Benn for government to give an extension so MPs could come to a consensus was rejected by 314 votes to 312.


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