UK parliament votes to delay Brexit

UK parliament votes to delay Brexit

The United Kingdom Parliament voted Thursday in favor of delaying the country’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) until the end of June as it continues debate on a transition deal.

The Parliament's lower house, the House of Commons, voted 412-202 to instruct Prime Minister Theresa May to seek an extension from the EU, which would require approval from all 27 member states.

The U.K. has been slated to leave the EU later this month.

May is expected to request the extension at a European Council summit in Brussels next week.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he had appealed to European nations to accept a “long extension” for Brexit.

“During my consultations ahead of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it,” he tweeted Thursday.

 

 

The House of Commons also rejected a nonbinding amendment earlier Thursday calling for a second Brexit referendum.

The legislature and May have been unable to reach an agreement on a transition deal for the U.K. to leave the continental pact.

The prime minister is expected to introduce her transition deal for a third time next week.

The country had been facing a March 29 deadline to come up with a deal to further negotiate the U.K.’s relationship with the EU or face the possibility of leaving the body without any agreement in place.

Parliament has twice rejected a transition deal May has already reached with the EU as the prime minister has struggled to win the backing of a majority of its members.

About 52 percent of voters supported a 2016 referendum to remove the U.K. from the EU.

Observers have warned that a departure from the EU without a transition deal, otherwise known as a “hard Brexit,” could throw the country’s economy into chaos and insert uncertainty into global markets.

-- Updated 3:00 p.m.