UK MPs take over Brexit process from government in unprecedented move


In a new defeat for Theresa May’s government, members of the UK Parliament voted on Monday night on an amendment introduced by MP Oliver Letwin to seize control of the parliamentary timetable to allow a series of votes on alternatives on May’s Brexit deal, The Guardian reports.

After the vote on the Letwin amendment, which passed by 329 to 302 votes, the government issued a statement warning that it “upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

Three ministers resigned from the government in order to back Letwin’s amendment: the foreign affairs minister, the health minister and the business minister.

Next, MPs will hold a series of “indicative votes”, with options like a softer Brexit, a customs union with the EU and even a second referendum.

“The votes could lead to an outcome that is un-negotiable with the EU,” PM Theresa May told MPs.

Earlier on Monday, May had announced that she did not yet have enough support to hold a third meaningful vote on her deal, but insisted that she would eventually obtain it, and not hand parliament a “blank cheque” to decide on the next steps.

EU leaders have handed Britain a Brexit delay to 22 May, if May’s deal is passed this week. Without parliament’s backing, she must return to Brussels before 12 April and set out an alternative plan.

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