UK lawmakers vote to seek delay of Brexit
LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Parliament voted on March 14 to seek a delay of the country's departure from the European Union (EU), a move that will likely avert a chaotic withdrawal on the scheduled exit date of March 29.
With Brexit due in 15 days and no divorce deal yet approved, the House of Commons voted 413-202 to ask the bloc to postpone Britain's exit until at least June 30. Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to ask EU leaders for an extension at a March 21-22 summit of the bloc in Brussels.
Power to approve or reject the extension lies with the EU, whose officials have said they will only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit.
The EU is reluctant to postpone Brexit beyond the late May elections for the EU Parliament.
May was forced to consider a Brexit delay after lawmakers twice rejected her EU divorce deal and also ruled out, in principle, leaving the bloc without an agreement. Withdrawing without a deal could mean major disruptions for businesses and people in the U.K. and the 27 remaining EU countries.