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Several leaders have already said that Britain must either have left before a new European Parliament is elected in May to take office in July or must hold its own EU election in order to avoid any legal challenge to the legitimacy of the legislature.

"It's still really hard to see how the numbers stack up for Theresa May, but she's giving it one more go", he said. They even rejected (by single vote) a motion to seize control of the Brexit process, which hard-line Brexiteers feared would lead to a softer deal that retains closer ties to Europe than May proposed.

"The responsibility for delay is exclusively with my Brexiteer colleagues who did not vote for the deal, and have delayed the process further".

There were hints yesterday that the Northern Irish DUP, which props up her majority in the Commons, could finally swing behind the agreement.

MPs have voted to delay Brexit beyond the scheduled date of March 29 amid dramatic scenes in the House of Commons.

European Union leaders must now unanimously approve the delay. The leader of her Christian Democratic Union said on Friday the EU should agree to a delay of Britain's departure from the bloc if it would prevent a disorderly exit.

Her authority hit an all-time low this week after a series of parliamentary defeats and rebellions, but finance minister Philip Hammond said her plan was back on the agenda.

Theresa May faces another difficult night
PA Theresa May faces another difficult night

If she looks like she can not ratify it, then a delay may give governments and businesses more time to prepare for a disruptive exit but leaders may also prefer to end doubts. Even the Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay joined the rebels - moments after he had summed up the government's case for a postponement.

"SHE DIDN'T LISTEN" U.S. President Donald Trump, who had earlier said he looked forward to negotiating a "large scale" trade deal with Britain after Brexit, added to May's headaches by criticising her handling of the crisis. A decision by Brussels to grant an extension would be made at the European Union summit on Thursday March 21. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal.

"We want a deal, we've said we want a deal, and we're talking to them around that", Ms Foster said on Thursday.

Jeremy Corbyn lost an amendment that would force the Government to hold debates to find an alternative approach to Mrs May's Withdrawal Agreement. We need to decide whether we are willing to pay the huge price of going it alone, of which the £50 billion divorce bill will only be the start. However, MPs categorically rejected an amendment that called for a second Brexit referendum.

The amendment, pushed by The Independent Group's Sarah Wollaston, was overwhelmingly defeated by 334 votes to 85 as the bulk of the Labour Party stayed away from the voting lobbies. But the campaigners said MPs should focus instead on backing the bid to take control of Brexit. They have said they will approve an extension if there is a specific reason, but don't want to provide more time for political bickering in Britain.

After all, the longer the delay, the more opportunity anti-Brexit lawmakers will have to reverse the referendum result; delay with no end date could potentially mean no Brexit in the end.

"There will be Conservatives who vote against it come what may, that's why in order for it to pass three things have to happen: she has to get the DUP on board, she has to persuade as many as possible of the 75 (Brexiteer) Conservatives to vote for it, and she will nearly certainly need more Labour MPs", said John Whittingdale, a Conservative lawmaker and member of the pro-Brexit faction.

Cardinal Pell: From Vatican apartment to Australian prison cell
Pell has maintained his innocence throughout and has filed an appeal on three grounds, set to be heard in June. County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd will sentence Pell in a hearing which began at midday.