Britain’s lawmakers have voted for a Brexit delay of at least three months after failing to agree the terms on which the country should depart the European Union on March 29.
MPs voted 413 to 202 to put the brakes on Brexit after other votes earlier in the week shelved leaving without a deal or leaving under the current deal offered by the EU.
But the 27 remaining members of the European Union must agree unanimously to the delay or Britain slides out of the bloc on March 29 as planned.
No chance of a deal
And an even bigger but is can Parliament not only agree how and when to leave but put forward a plan that is agreeable to the EU as well in that time when they have failed to do so after almost three years of infighting and intrigue.
The basis of the arguing is within the Tory Party. Prime Minister Theresa May has a deal, but her backbenchers have sternly resisted the terms, hanging their objections on the Irish back-stop.
This is a clause in the agreement that deals with how the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be managed if no trade agreement is forthcoming after Brexit.
The Tory Euro sceptics say the terms mean Britain will have to remain in Europe until an agreement is reached and refuse to alter their stance. And while they keep arguing, there’s no chance of a deal before March 29.
Impatience in Europe
Now, Prime Minister Theresa May is going back to Europe asking for at least a three-month delay on Brexit – but the EU is considering stretching this to a year.
Why? Because the prospect of remaining in the EU for even longer may focus the minds of Brexiteers who are stirring the pot.
The EU is unlikely to make a decision before next week as May wants MPs to vote again on the current agreement and they probably hope uncertainty over the delay might influence the voting.
Cabinet Minister David Liddington said there was “real impatience” in Europe over what was happening in Westminster.