UK lawmakers vote to seek delay of EU departure
LONDON (AP) — After weeks of political gridlock, Britain’s Parliament voted Thursday to seek a delay of the country’s departure from the European Union, a move that will likely avert a chaotic withdrawal on the scheduled exit date of March 29.
With Brexit due in 15 days and no divorce deal yet approved, the House of Commons voted 412-202 to ask the bloc to postpone Britain’s exit until at least June 30.
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.
Power to approve or reject the extension lies with the EU, which has signalled that it will only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit.
In a historic irony, almost three years after Britain voted to leave the EU, its future is now in the bloc’s hands.
May is likely to ask EU leaders for an extension at a March 21-22 summit of the bloc in Brussels.