Yvette Cooper MP's Brexit bill to prevent a No Deal Brexit passes by 313 votes to 312

Yvette Cooper has led a cross-party group of MPs in an historic effort to prevent a No Deal Brexit.
Yvette Cooper has led a cross-party group of MPs in an historic effort to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

Yvette Cooper has led a cross-party group of MPs in an historic effort to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

On Wednesday evening, MPs voted by a majority of one to support a bill which will force the Prime Minister to ask for an extension of Article 50.

The bill, put forward by the Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP on Tuesday, passed by 313 votes to 312, though will still need to be approved by the House of Lords to become law.

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Proposed by Mrs Cooper in an effort to prevent a No Deal Brexit, the bill will force Theresa May to request an extension to Article 50, the legislation which specifies when the UK will leave the EU.

It also gives MPs the power to decide the length of the extension, if it is granted by EU leaders.

The UK was originally supposed to leave the EU on Friday, March 29, but this deadline was pushed back to April 12 when Parliament failed to agree on a deal.

In an historic move, Mrs Cooper’s bill was debated and passed in just one day.

A number of Conservative MPs expressed outrage at the bill being passed so quickly.

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Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, told the BBC: “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.”

Speaking on Twitter, Mrs Cooper called the current Brexit progress a “complete mess”, and said that the country was in a “dangerous situation.”

She said: “(The) Prime Minister has responsibility to our country to avert No Deal on April 12.

“If she doesn’t, we must strain every sinew to ensure she acts. For sake of jobs, families & security, this cross party bill aims to ensure that happens.”

The bill was supported by a cross-party group of MPs, including the Conservatives’ Dominic Grieve and Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb.

Last week, MPs voted on a series of alternatives to Theresa May’s Brexit deal, including a second referendum, a No Deal Brexit and a general election, though none of these gained a majority.