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UK lawmakers seize Brexit control for a day

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UK lawmakers seize Brexit control for a day

UK lawmakers seize Brexit control for a day

British lawmakers voted to take control of the parliamentary agenda for a day, in a highly unusual bid to find a way through the Brexit impasse.

Michelle Hennessy reports.


UK lawmakers seize Brexit control for a day

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE OF COMMONS SPEAKER, JOHN BERCOW, SAYING: "So the ayes have it, the ayes have it." British lawmakers on Monday (March 25) voted to tear up the rule book, and try and seize control of Brexit.

The vote means lawmakers will take over parliament's agenda for one day.

That day being Wednesday (March 27).

It'll then make time for a series of so-called indicative votes: Meaning a range of Brexit options will be put forward to see what - if anything - commands a majority.

It's an unprecedented move in British politics - but - these are unprecedented times: Nearly three years after the referendum the UK is bitterly divided, the Prime Minister's divorce deal has been rejected - twice - and just days before Britain was supposed to leave the EU - it's still unclear how, when, or even if Brexit will take place.

Monday's vote underlines just how much authority May has lost over her own lawmakers.

Three junior ministers resigned to defy the government in supporting the indicative votes.

Something May said she was skeptical about holding.

And there's still a catch - Wednesday's votes are non-binding - so lawmakers could struggle to turn the outcome into law.

But - if a consensus is reached - it'll pile pressure on May.

She admitted on Monday that as things stand - there isn't enough support to put her option to the test for a third time.

But didn't rule out bringing it back as early as this week - most likely that would be on Thursday.

She would need to win over at least 75 lawmakers to get it through.

If it does finally get the seal of approval - Britain will exit the EU on May the 22nd.

If not, it will have until April 12th to outline its plans.

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