- The British Parliament voted 412 to 202 to approve an extension of the Brexit deadline to June 30, originally set for March 29. It is now up to the European Union to approve the extension; leaving on March 29 remains the default until the EU grants approval.
- Just minutes before the vote on the extension, Parliament voted 85 to 334 against a second referendum in what is seen as a small win in an otherwise turbulent week for Prime Minister Theresa May. This does not discount the possibility of a second referendum coming up as an option again in the future.
- Parliament has now voted against a "no-deal" Brexit and in favor of an extension. This is not, however, a guarantee against a hard break. If the extension is approved by the EU there can still be a "no-deal" Brexit if no agreement is reached by the new deadline.
So what happens next? May will bring her deal before Parliament again next week for a third vote, according to the BBC. May's proposal has already failed twice, including in a 391 to 242 vote earlier this week.
The vote will take place before March 20. May will then travel to Brussels, where she will meet with the other 27 EU leaders for the last time before the March 29 deadline, to ask them to approve the extension, according to CNN.
"That feels like a rare and welcome outbreak of common sense," Joshua Hardie, the deputy director general at CBI, a U.K.-based business organization, said in a Twitter video after the delay. "But things need to change if this is to be more than simply a stay of execution. That means political leaders dropping their read lines and not playing for power, playing for the country."
After an exasperating few days, Parliament’s rejection of no deal and desire for an extension shows there is still some common sense in Westminster. But without a radically new approach, business fears this is simply a stay of execution. @josh_hardie pic.twitter.com/H68jEZFUQo— CBI (@CBItweets) March 14, 2019
The British Retail Consortium reportedly called the vote in favor of an extension "a glimmer of hope," according to Channel 4.
Adam Marshall, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the vote to delay helped avoid a messy withdrawal on March 29, but it did not provide companies much clarity and called on businesses to continue to plan for all potential "eventualities, including a no deal exit."
“Once again, businesses are left waiting for Parliament to reach a consensus on the way forward and are losing faith that they will achieve this," Marshall said in a statement. "In the meantime, firms are continuing to enact their contingency plans, anxiety amongst many businesses is rising, and customers are being lost."