Britain took a decisive step away from a damaging no-deal Brexit as members of Parliament and political leaders backed efforts to prevent a disorderly departure from the European Union. The House of Commons vote shortly before midnight Wednesday to block a no-deal divorce destroyed the dream of some of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party members for a clean break with the bloc as soon as next week. The bill — which May herself opposed — won by a single vote and will now move to Parliament’s upper chamber to complete its progress Thursday.
While the Lords are debating the controversial bill, May’s Tories and Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party will hold intensive talks to seek a compromise position on the post-Brexit relationship with the EU. The two leaders held initial discussions Wednesday that both described as “constructive,” and agreed to appoint teams to continue the talks.
May has signaled she wants a further extension, but it’s now almost certain Parliament will have the legislation to force her to seek one after Wednesday night’s 313-312 vote on a bill put forward by rank-and-file lawmakers seeking to avert a no-deal Brexit. Its passage through the House of Lords on Thursday — where there is a clear pro-EU majority — is likely to be less fraught than in the Commons, where Brexiteers reacted with anger at its narrow passage.
U.K. Parliament Acts to Block a Potentially Chaotic No-Deal Brexit, Bloomberg, Apr 04