UK PM May Pushes Delay After Parliament Rejects No-Deal Brexit

Update (4:15 pm ET): Bloomberg reports some details on the government's motion to delay Brexit to be voted on tomorrow.

  • Government Motion Sets Deadline of March 20 to Get Deal Done

  • Proposes Short Extension if Deal Is Passed by March 20

  • If No Deal by March 20, EU Will Determine Length of Delay

  • Government Sees Extension to June 30 if Deal Is Passed in March

Cable extended its gains...

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Update (4:00 pm ET): The EU isn't amused. A European Commission spokesman texts to say:

"To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal."

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has made the important point that this isn't binding on the government. But there's no denying the strength of the signal lawmakers just sent to May.

The key question now is what would May expect to achieve by extending until late May? Given her government has had two years already without success to try and get a deal.

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Update (3:30 pm ET):

The narrow margin - with a majority of just 4 - suggests that some ministers likely rebelled and voted against the government whipFT has speculated that resignations may follow. 

The amendment is not legally binding, so does not automatically change the process. It has no mechanism for avoiding no deal, and offers no further path away from one. No deal remains the legal default.

However, the vote is a clear indication that the Commons rejects leaving without a deal at any point in time. The government will now come under enormous pressure to take concrete steps to move away from no deal.

The amendment deleted specific references in the government's own motion to March 29 - the deadline for leaving the EU under Article 50 (and UK law) - and simply states that the house rejects leaving without "a withdrawal agreement". -FT

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Cable was extending its gains as the UK parliament headed into its vote on a no-deal brexit.

Bloomberg's Emma Ross-Thomas points out, while lawmakers are set to walk away from the cliff's edge by taking the threat of a no-deal Brexit off the table, in some ways the recent events amount to an "own goal" (in football parlance) for Brexiteers. For those wanting a clean break from the EU, nixing May's deal raises the potential for a "soft" Brexit down the line, or even a second referendum on leaving at all.

So what is the government motion being voted on tonight? Here it is, in its own words:

"That this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement."

And the vote is in - the UK parliament rejects a No-Deal Brexit by 312-308.

Sending Cable higher...

While this is a non-bdining vote, May has said she abide by the vote.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is now planning to ask the European Union for an extension to the March 29 Brexit deadline lasting about two months, according to people familiar with the matter.

May is planning to set out next steps and how the extension to the Article 50 deadline will work with Parliament due to vote on whether to extend the deadline on Thursday.

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