Theresa May under fire as MPs move to block no-deal Brexit

By Rob Picheta and Bianca Britton, CNN

Updated 7:15 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019
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7:04 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

We're wrapping up our live coverage

It's been a long day in Westminster, where lawmakers have voted by a majority of one to effectively rule out a no-deal Brexit in the near-term.

If Theresa May can't salvage her Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days, Britain now looks to be headed for a longer delay to its departure from the EU.

We're bringing our live coverage from London to a close. Read more about the bill's passage and the events of the day here.

6:51 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

Cooper praises bill's passage; Brexiteer describes it as a 'constitutional outrage'

Responding to the passage of her bill, Labour MP Yvette Cooper said: "The House has tonight voted again to make clear the real concern there would be about a chaotic and damaging no deal."

"It's really important to say how welcome it was this this has been a really considered and thoughtful debate," she added. "I am sure that we will be very keen to work with the government to make sure that this legislation progresses in a way that is sensible." The bill must still be passed by the House of Lords for it to become law.

Hardline Brexiteer Mark Francois then made a point of order. "It’s difficult to argue that you’ve had an extremely considered debate when you’ve rammed the bill through the house of Commons in barely four hours," he said. "That is a constitutional outrage."

"It went through in the end by one vote," he added. "That to me does not represent the long-term settled will of the House of Commons."

6:29 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

The bill passed by one vote

For the second time today, the bill to block a no-deal Brexit passed by one vote.

Its final reading passed by 313 votes to 312.

Earlier in the day, it also proceeded to a second reading by one vote.

6:35 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

BREAKING: Parliament effectively rules out a no-deal Brexit

Parliament has approved a bill that effectively rules out a no-deal Brexit by forcing the government to seek an extension from the EU if it cannot pass a divorce plan by April 12.

The passage of the bill will enrage hardline Brexiteers in the Conservative Party, and sets Britain on course for a long Brexit extension if May cannot salvage her Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days.

6:15 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

Results on no-deal bill soon

The full list of amendments to Yvette Cooper's bill have been voted on, and lawmakers are now walking through the lobbies to cast their vote on the main bill.

A reminder: if it succeeds, the bill would take a no-deal Brexit off the table by forcing Theresa May to seek an extension to the process if she cannot pass her Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days.

Read why that's a big deal here.

6:25 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

What Thursday's papers are saying

Thursday's newspapers are predictably focused on Theresa May's crunch talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Brexit-supporting Daily Telegraph claims Corbyn is now "in the Brexit driving seat" after May agreed to negotiations on a compromise deal with the opposition leader.

The Metro goes with the same picture of Corbyn, along with a photo of May in the back seat of a car. "It's Good to Talk," their headline reads.

The i, meanwhile, focuses on the growing calls for a second referendum, after Labour's shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry urged fellow MPs to back a second vote.

The Daily Express tabloid focuses on the fury coming from Conservative hardliners, following a day in which two ministers quit the government over May's discussions with Corbyn.

5:51 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

Brexit extension will inevitably be long, says Chancellor

Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Any further delay to Brexit will inevitably be long and the UK will have to prepare to hold European elections if it is sought, Theresa May's Chancellor Philip Hammond has told ITV News' Robert Peston.

But Hammond suggested that an extension -- which Britain will have to request if Cooper's bill succeeds and May cannot pass her deal by April 12 -- could be cut short when Britain is ready to depart.

He said it was important "we have absolute clarity that as soon as we’ve done the deal, we are able to bring that extension to an end," adding that "it’s less about the nominal time" of the extension and more about how easily Britain can halt it and exit the EU.

Any extension to Brexit, along with the terms of the extension, will have to be approved by the EU.

Hammond also repeated his suggestion that a second, confirmatory referendum is "credible."

"It’s well known that this is one of the issues that’s been debated," he said. "It’s a perfectly credible proposition. Some ideas have been put forward which are not deliverable, they're not negotiable," but a second vote "deserves" to be voted on, he added.

5:33 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

Government amendment crushed in Commons

An amendment on Yvette Cooper's bill, put down by the Government itself, has been crushed by lawmakers, as voting on amendments continues.

Theresa May's government has already made a habit of suffering defeats in Parliament, but this huge loss -- by 400 votes to 220 -- suggests that Cooper's main bill has a healthy chance of passing.

The amendment attempted to prevent Cooper's bill from limiting the powers of a minister to seek or agree an extension of the Brexit process -- essentially defeating the purpose of the bill itself. It had been tabled by Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay.

5:08 p.m. ET, April 3, 2019

MPs voting on banning no deal Brexit

Lawmakers are voting on Labour MP Yvette Cooper's bill to take a no deal Brexit off the table, and to force Theresa May to seek an extension to the process if she cannot pass her Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days.

Results of the main vote, as well as on a series of amendments, will be announced soon.