Could Brexit be delayed? | UK

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Stephen B. Morton The New York Times

The length of any possible delay will depend on the outcome of another parliamentary vote on the twice massively rejected Brexit deal struck by Prime Minister Theresa May with European Union leaders.

THERESA MAY secured precious breathing space for her Brexit deal as she won two Commons votes last night. A dozen government ministers abstained rather than support May's bid to preserve the no-deal option, while another voted against, and resigned.

Lawmakers are now voting on a series of amendments to a government motion on delaying Brexit.

'Bringing the vote back for the third time without even the pretence that anything has changed is an act of desperation'. He said Ireland would only consider it if it was to "implement a clear plan and strategy to reflect on and perhaps change direction in regard to Brexit".

The vote gives Prime Minister Theresa May some breathing space, but is still humbling for a leader who has spent two years telling Britons they were leaving the bloc on March 29.

"I voted to extend the Article 50 deadline on Thursday because I am not willing to drive my constituents livelihoods over a cliff, when a perfectly good deal is the alternative", he said.

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MPs have twice rejected the deal struck by Prime Minister Theresa May's with the other 27 European Union nations - in January and on Tuesday.

The vagueness of the latter option is leverage in the eyes of the Conservative government; it's an appeal to hardline Brexit supporters to back May's deal.

Mr Dodds spent Friday afternoon in meetings with key cabinet figures - including Chancellor Philip Hammond and Environment Secretary Michael Gove - as the government seeks to persuade MPs to support its deal when it returns to the Commons.

The debate on the proposal is expected to take place before a debate on a government motion which says Mrs May will seek a short extension to article 50 if MPs vote through the withdrawal agreement by March 20 (next Wednesday, just before an European Union summit).

Mrs May has already announced she won't lead the Tories into a potential 2022 general election, but is facing pressure to go much sooner. The EU rules out reworking the deal May accepted.

"We have to know, what is the intention of the British parliament?"

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Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the vote for an extension showed there was "still some common sense in Westminster".

May is planning to hold another "meaningful vote" on her withdrawal deal by March 20. However, the vote is not a legally-binding and there is still a distinct possibility that Britain could end up with a no-deal Brexit. "Go back to square one and work out. over a proper time, the final relationship".

European Council president Donald Tusk has indicated that the EU may be ready to offer a lengthy extension to negotiations if the United Kingdom wants to "rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it".

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit had "diminished" with Thursday's votes.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

Conservative lawmaker George Freeman suggested that May had been so damaged by Brexit that she should promise to quit to get her deal through.

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