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UK lawmakers to vote on 2nd referendum among Brexit amendments


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UK lawmakers to vote on 2nd referendum among Brexit amendments

U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow provisionally selected four amendments to a government motion on extending Article 50 for votes later today, including one that seeks a second referendum.

The amendment, tabled by former Conservative party member Sarah Wollaston, requests a Brexit extension for the purpose of holding another referendum. The amendment indicates that an option to remain within the EU should be on the ballot.

The Labour Party indicated it will not back a second referendum, Reuters reported.

The second amendment, put forward by Labour's Hilary Benn and supported by a group of cross-party senior backbenchers, seeks to allow lawmakers to discuss the best way forward starting March 20, allowing lawmakers to rank their preferred Brexit options, the Financial Times reported.

Bercow also allowed an amendment to Benn's proposal, specifying that, in that case, the extension would last until June 30.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's proposed amendment calls for a delayed Brexit and seeks time for lawmakers to find "a different approach."

The fourth amendment, tabled by Labour's Chris Bryant, if passed, would empower the speaker to block a third vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The amendments will be voted on in the order mentioned, starting at 5 p.m. London time.

If lawmakers pass Wollaston's amendment, votes on the Benn and Corbyn amendments will not be held, The Guardian reported. If the Benn amendment is passed, Corbyn's motion would be dropped. The fourth amendment will be voted on in any case.

Lawmakers yesterday rejected Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal, setting the stage for a likely delay to the U.K.'s March 29 exit.

May is looking at a Brexit extension until June 30 but said that minus a deal by March 20, the delay could last longer, Bloomberg News reported. Any extension needs the EU's approval, with European Council President Donald Tusk urging EU leaders to be open to a longer extension, if necessary.

A no-deal scenario remains the default path forward unless the U.K. and EU can finalize a withdrawal agreement before any new deadline.