“An amendment tabled by former Tory minister Oliver Letwin passed, by 329 votes to 302, defeating the government, as MPs expressed their exasperation at its failure to set out a fresh approach,” Heather Stewart and Jessica Elgot of the Guardian write.
The carousel goes another spin…
A government spokesperson has issued the following statement after the defeat:
It is disappointing to see this amendment pass, as the government made a clear commitment to provide a process to find a majority in parliament for a way forward this week.
This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.
While it is now up to parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the government will continue to call for realism – any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU. Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take, and if they’d require a longer extension which would mean holding European parliamentary elections.