Brexit LIVE: MPs to decide on delay as Theresa May seeks third 'meaningful vote'

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MPs are set to vote on whether to delay Brexit after Theresa May suffered another crushing defeat in the House of Commons.

The vote on extending Article 50 comes after MPs defied the Government and dramatically decided to rule out a no-deal withdrawal from the EU in scenes some Tory Brexiteers described as "chaotic".

Four Cabinet ministers did not take part in the vote.

After the defeat, Mrs May made it clear that she intends to put a third "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal to the Commons within days.

Today’s debate offers to seek a one-off extension of Article 50, delaying the scheduled Brexit date of March 29 to June 30 if MPs approve the deal negotiated with the EU by next Wednesday.

However, the PM warned if the deal – which has already been twice rejected by overwhelming majorities – is not approved, a longer extension will be needed, requiring Britain to take part in the European Parliament elections in May.

DUP leader holds talks with Irish PM in Washington

DUP leader Arlene Foster has held talks with government ministers about finding “a sensible deal for the entire United Kingdom” to exit the European Union.

She has also met Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar during a St. Patrick’s Day visit to Washington, the BBC reported.

The BBC reported separately that the DUP was seeking a role for the Northern Ireland assembly in a Brexit deal.

DUP leader urges Britain to ‘hold its nerve’

DUP leader Arlene Foster (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

She wants Northern Ireland’s regional assembly to have a “meaningful say” on Brexit.

She told BBC Northern Ireland: “What people need to do is hold their nerve and to look for a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom.”

She added that Northern Ireland must remain “constitutionally and economically” within the UK.

Rebel not given permission to abstain

Health Minister Stephen Hammond (Image: PA)

Health Minister Stephen Hammond, who rebelled in last night’s key no-deal vote, said he was not given permission to abstain.

Asked if he was given assurances that he would keep his job if he abstained, Mr Hammond told Today: “I personally hadn’t, but I believe some colleagues may have been.”

Four cabinet ministers abstained from the vote.

MPs must ‘explore other options’, says Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond says he hoped the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement could secure a Commons majority, but said it was also necessary for MPs to “explore other options”.

Mr Hammond told Sky News: “I am very happy with the Prime Minister’s deal. I would be delighted if a consensus emerges behind the Prime Minister’s deal over the next day or two.

“But I think we also have to explore other options for Parliament to express a view about how we resolve this impasse.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called on Mr Hammond to get involved in talks on a compromise Brexit option.

Mr McDonnell told Sky: “Philip Hammond said he was opposed to no deal and was interested in compromise. “We are saying to Philip Hammond ‘You said yesterday you and other MPs in your party are looking for compromise. Join us now in working through that compromise, because we think MPs, in the interests of the country, will put party politics aside and do that’.”

Hammond says EU could insist on long Brexit delay

Chancellor Philip Hammond says the European Union might insist on a long delay to Brexit if the UK government requests an extension to the process.

He told Sky News: “This is not in our control and the European Union is signalling that only if we have a deal is it likely to be willing to grant a short technical extension to get the legislation through.

“If we don’t have a deal, and if we’re still discussing among ourselves what is the right way to go forward, then it’s quite possible that the EU may insist on a significantly longer period.”

MPs to vote on whether to delay Brexit

MPs are set to vote on whether to delay Brexit after Theresa May suffered another crushing defeat in the House of Commons.

Today’s vote on extending Article 50 comes after MPs defied the Government and dramatically decided to rule out a no-deal withdrawal from the EU in scenes some Tory Brexiteers described as “chaotic”.

Four Cabinet ministers did not take part in last night’s vote.

After the defeat, Mrs May made it clear that she intends to put a third “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal to the Commons within days.

Today’s debate offers to seek a one-off extension of Article 50, delaying the scheduled Brexit date of March 29 to June 30 if MPs approve the deal negotiated with the EU by next Wednesday.

However, the PM warned if the deal – which has already been twice rejected by overwhelming majorities – is not approved, a longer extension will be needed, requiring Britain to take part in the European Parliament elections in May.

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