British MPs vote to seek extension for Brexit

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Lawmakers are voting Wednesday on a no-deal exit on March 29, and if that is rejected then voting Thursday on extending the Article 50 deadline.

A handful of worldwide channels operators, including Discovery and NBCUniversal, have begun shifting their European licenses out of Britain to other countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, to ensure that the permits will still be valid throughout the rest of Europe after Brexit.

Wednesday night's vote on ruling out a no-deal Brexit exposed the level of disruption a vote on an amendment to a government motion could cause, when the Spelman amendment, which was created to remove reference to leaving without a deal remaining the default option, was passed by a slim majority of four, 312 to 308, altering the government's motion. The UK Parliament has voted today on a series of amendments related to leaving the European Union without a deal, approving the most relevant one.

Mrs May's spokesman said the government was still making preparations in the event of a no-deal divorce.

Saying that he would not go into detail as to why he did not select the only amendment seeking to rule out a second referendum, Mr Bercow said, "It is not uncommon for a member of this House to be mightily pleased when his or her amendment is selected and notably displeased when it is not".

Alan Wager, a researcher at the United Kingdom in a Changing Europe think tank, said May faced a struggle to overturn a 149-vote margin of defeat in Parliament this week.

May also needs to win over the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has so far refused to back her plan.

"It's still really hard to see how the numbers stack up for Theresa May, but she's giving it one more go", he said.

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If it is defeated again, May says Britain will have to seek a long extension - with the risk that opponents of Brexit will use that time to soften the terms of departure or even overturn the decision to leave.

"Under no circumstances an extension in the dark!"

In another sting for the beleaguered May, US President Donald Trump said he was "surprised at how badly" the Brexit negotiations have been handled.

Speaking alongside Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House, Trump said Britain's debate over leaving the European Union was "tearing the country apart". The U.K. won't be represented in the European Parliament after it quits the EU; its seats already have been given to other countries to fill in the May election.

EU leaders meeting next Thursday will consider pressing Britain to delay Brexit by at least a year, European Council President Donald Tusk said.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he will appeal to EU leaders "to be open to a long extension if the United Kingdom finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus about it".

Conservative lawmaker George Freeman suggested that May had been so damaged by Brexit that she should promise to quit to get her deal through.

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