Sterling headed for best week since January after Brexit votes

UK Parliament votes to delay Brexit but rejects second referendum

The Conservative Party was split down the middle as Parliament voted to delay Brexit beyond its scheduled date of 29 March.

Nigel Farage, the politician who probably did more than anyone else to force Britain's referendum on membership of the European Union, joined protesters at the start of a 270-mile march over what they call a betrayal of the Brexit vote.

May has given those critics an ultimatum - ratify her deal by Wednesday or face a delay to Brexit way beyond June 30 that would open up the possibility that the entire departure from the European Union could ultimately be thwarted.

Farage defended that decision and said as a member of the European Parliament he may have to take part in a vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister apparently breaking her word by attempting to Article 50 - she will require the EU's agreement to do so - will leave many wondering whether they can trust her other promises; for example her vow to stand aside as party leader before the next general election, made in exchange for Tory MPs not backing her ouster in a recent vote of no confidence.

Professor Iain Begg, of the European Institute and co-director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "EU agreement is likely, but the EU side will want reassurance that the extension is for a goal, not just to permit further procrastination by the UK".

One further complication is that due to United Kingdom parliamentary rules the Speaker John Bercow could decide there should be no further debates and votes on Mrs May's deal as it has already been rejected and is not likely to have changed in any way by next week.

For all the attention on the Independent Group of former Labour and Conservative MPs, Theresa May's fragile grip on the Brexit process was nearly - but not quite - removed by a different cross-party alliance this week.

The Prime Minister is expected to step up her charm offensive to win over Tory and DUP MPs still resisting her deal in the coming days.

The UK Parliament turned down May's Brexit deal with Brussels in January, mainly due to differences over how trade would proceed between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A German government spokesman said the next move on how to proceed with Brexit must come from London. Either she'll have to go to get her Brexit deal through or they'll be a vote of confidence'.

He said the British government was "very focussed" on addressing the issue of the Irish backstop, an insurance policy that sets out what happens to the Irish border after Brexit. In the event of an extension, the question is how long it will be.

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