News | Published April 04 2019

Brexit extension bill passes by one vote

Theresa May will have to ask for an extension to Article 50 in order to avoid no deal after MPs supported the bill by a majority of one vote last night.

The bill was led by Labour MP Yvette Cooper and was passed by 313 votes to 312.

It followed discussions between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit and will be debated in the Lords before being approved into law.

Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, said the Lords would now scrutinise the bill and that there was no guarantee that the UK would contest the European elections in May.

The UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU on April 12 but according to Cooper's bill the prime minister will have to ask for an extension beyond that date.

It also grants parliament the opportunity to decide on how long that extension would be, dependent on negotiations with the EU.

May and Corbyn will also continue their discussions today as they seek to form a compromise on a combined Brexit strategy.

They agreed a programme of work yesterday in talks that Corbyn called "useful, but inconclusive".

The aim is that they agree a strategy by April 10, the day on which the European Council will hold a meeting to discuss the Article 50 deadline and the UK's future.

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Authored by

William Winter
April 04 2019

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