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House of Commons Vetos Extension to Brexit

On the 29th of January, the British House of Commons voted on a number of amendments targeted at finding a compromise on the withdrawal deal that the government negotiated with the rest of the EU. Many of these amendments were voted down by small margins, however a two key ones were carried.     The first of the amendments voted in favor by 318 votes to 310 was non-binding amendment to reject a no-deal Brexit. This was essentially a statement declaring that the Commons does not want a no-deal situation, however in order to avoid this situation, the Commons must vote in favor of any deal, the withdrawal letter has to be withdrawn or the EU27 have to agree to the prolongation of the negotiations.     The second of the favorable amendments, by a margin of only 317 to 301, called for the backstop portion of the May’s original deal to be replaced with “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”. The current so-called backstop plan was one of the main reasons why May’s deal was turned down in the historic defeat for any modern government in the UK earlier this month. May ordered the Conservative MPs to vote in favor of this amendment, as she promised to return to Brussels to try and re-open negotiations. However, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier immediately responded that the backstop is a crucial part to the current deal and so is not negotiable. As a result of the votes, Prime Minister May’s united parliament looks temporary in nature, and if anything, then her frustration continues to grow.



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