British MPs will vote again today on whether to extend Article 50 after Wednesday night’s vote saw them reject a no-deal Brexit by 321 to 278 votes.
However, a bit like the referendum itself, Wednesday's no-deal vote is not thought to be ‘legally binding’ as under current law, the UK could still leave without a deal and trade under World Trade Organisation rules.
Theresa May told rebel MPs, that if they failed to back her deal once again, it could spell a lengthy delay to Brexit and an extension to Article 50.
However, permission to extend it beyond the 29th of March, would first have to be sought from the EU.
The EU27 leaders may well agree to the extension, but will want to know how long the UK would like to extend the process and exactly what they plan on using the extension for.
Just this morning, EU President Donald Tusk, posted to Twitter saying, “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.”
Speaking after the result of the vote was announced, Mrs May said: "The options before us are the same as they always have been.
"The legal default in EU and UK law is that the UK will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is."
With the Prime Minister heavily defeated once again, her authority within the Tory party has been all but lost.
However, it could be the opportunity that Mrs May has been looking for in order to finally push through the deal, which has already been rejected twice by ministers.
Either the deal is accepted today, or Article 50 will be extended leaving us all with up to two years of further Brexit chaos.
January 14, 2021