Brexit Bill clears first major hurdle, but MPs extend the timeframe

(Title Image: via Flickr by David Hold under Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-2.0)

The new Withdrawal Agreement Bill made it past the first stage of legislative scrutiny in the UK House of Commons last night as MPs voted 329-299 for the Bill to move to the next, more detailed, stage of scrutiny.

The vote doesn’t mean the deal itself has been approved, and it also means that amendments to the Bill can be tabled and voted on – possibly including a second referendum.

In another vote, MPs 322-308 to reject the Prime Minister’s proposed timetable for passing the Bill – just three days – which means an extension to Brexit beyond October 31st 2019 is now much more likely.

As a result of the second vote Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, “paused” progress of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and said that if Brexit were extended to January 31st 2020, he would seek to hold a UK General Election in the intervening period – though a shorter extension to get the Bill passed is also possible.