LONDON — It’s another hugely important day in Brexit, with MPs set to vote on whether to instruct Theresa May to seek an extension of the Article 50 negotiating period until June 30 or potentially beyond.
MPs will begin voting at 5 p.m. local time and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow selected four amendments for voting. The amendments would be non-binding but one, put down by Labour MP Hilary Benn and others, would set in train a parliamentary process that could lead to legally binding decisions.
Here’s what MPs will be voting on:
The government’s motion
The motion sets out two scenarios for extending the Article 50 negotiation period. In the first, the House of Commons approves the prime minister’s deal by Wednesday March 20. She then goes to the European Council summit the following day requesting an extension until June 30 simply to get technical Brexit legislation through parliament. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested an alternative end-date for an extension of May 23, so this could be a matter for debate at European Council.
May is expected to bring her deal back for a third meaningful vote on Monday or Tuesday next week to try and make this happen.
The second scenario deals with no approval for her deal by March 20. In that case, May will still go to the European Council seeking the extension. But the motion also notes that the EU would be “highly likely” to require a “clear purpose” for an extension, and that any extension beyond June 30 “would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.”