UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - British MPs passed a government motion Thursday night giving Prime Minister Theresa May a mandate to ask the EU to delay the Brexit date past March 29, now just over two weeks away.
After a series of defeats in the House of Commons this week, May won this evening’s ballot in a 412-202 vote.
With the motion now passed, May will ask the EU for an extension to Article 50 -- the clause of the EU treaty under which Britain is leaving -- until June 30, 2018.
If the EU agrees to the delay, the U.K. will not be leaving the bloc on March 29 as previously planned.
Thursday’s vote saw four amendments to the motion defeated in favor of May’s government.
The House of Commons on Wednesday approved an amended version of a government motion ruling out a no-deal Brexit, which, as amended, took the no-deal option off the table.
May previously said Brexit could be delayed by three months, to June 30, if her withdrawal deal is backed by the parliament in a vote next week.
May’s deal was rejected for a second time on Tuesday with a majority of 149.
If parliament rejects the deal again in a vote expected next week, May said she would seek a longer extension.
Earlier, in a 334-85 vote, MPs earlier rejected an amendment that would have paved way for another Brexit referendum.
Any extension of Article 50 is subject to approval from the EU's 27 other members and is likely to be discussed during an EU summit set for March 21, a week from today.
British voters decided to leave the bloc after more than 40 years in a June 2016 referendum, with 52 percent casting ballots to leave.