UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit but rejects second referendum


David Lidington has insisted Theresa May's cabinet will continue to work together "very constructively", despite eight senior ministers, including the Brexit secretary, voting against an extension to article 50.

The following night, 13 ministers broke ranks and voted to take No Deal off the table.

The UK is barrelling towards the 29 March Brexit deadline with no approved European Union withdrawal agreement and a prime minister who appears to have lost control over her bickering cabinet.

The past week's votes have exposed divisions in the UK's two largest parties. However this will require unanimous agreement from the 27 leaders, which is not guaranteed as the EU's chief negotiator and several leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have said there would need to be a good reason given.

What has happened so far?

The Cheshire MP, who resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary over the deal four months ago, said Leaver MPs will "have to think a different way" when the Prime Minister's European Union divorce returns to the Commons next week.

This incredible state of affairs has come to pass despite the Prime Minister having repeatedly promised that Article 50 would not be extended and that Brexit would be delivered "on time" - in line with her now long-abandoned mantra that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

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Mrs May has put forward two deals to Parliament, both of which have been rejected in an overwhelming majority.

The Conservative Party was split down the middle as Parliament voted to delay Brexit beyond its scheduled date of 29 March.

May is expected to again submit the withdrawal deal to lawmakers next week, though it has already been rejected twice.

Even if the deadline is unanimously agreed, the Prime Minister will still need to get a deal through the Houses of Commons, which is now divided on the matter of the Irish back-stop.

Hope quoted Mrs May's official spokesman as saying "The PM has been clear on a number of occasions she has no intention of extending Article 50".

Downing Street sources denied that Mrs May had lost control of her Cabinet or her party, insisting that the results were a "natural consequence" of her decision to offer a free vote on an issue where many hold strong views.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit which has served to weaken the pound, MPs decision to take a no-deal Brexit off the table this week and avert severely damaging the United Kingdom economy gave investors a reason to send sterling higher.