Japan voices concern over further Brexit uncertainty after vote to delay

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Downing Street is convinced the support of the DUP is key to unlocking the backing of many Conservative Brexiters when May brings her deal to the House of Commons on Tuesday for the third time.

Members plainly don't know what they want.

This would also mean the United Kingdom having to take part in the European parliament elections (and re-electing MEPs).

Asked what she thought of the People's Vote campaign's call for patience, she said: "No one dictates how I vote, except my constituents". By dishonouring the result of the referendum the government's motion is a betrayal'.

MPs backed a bid to push back Brexit beyond the scheduled date of March 29 in dramatic parliamentary scenes which saw a majority of the Conservative party in the opposite lobby from the Prime Minister.

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

The motion also included a proposal to hold a third vote early next week on May's twice-rejected deal. It could even mean no Brexit at all, insisted the leader.

The debate on the proposal is expected to take place before a debate on a government motion which says Mrs May will seek a short extension to article 50 if MPs vote through the withdrawal agreement by March 20 (next Wednesday, just before an European Union summit).

Any delay must be approved unanimously by the 27 remaining European Union nations, but they are quickly losing patience with Britain's political disarray.

While winning two votes after a series of defeats had Mrs May laughing with delight, there were more signs of her lack of control over her own party.

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It depends in my view on what conditions the European Union places on that extension, because of course the British government now is tasked by parliament to request an extension, and they will undoubtedly provide a time period on that, so they will be asking for an extension for a particular period of time. Even the Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay joined the rebels - moments after he had summed up the government's case for a postponement. On Wednesday they voted to take no deal off the table and remove any negotiating leverage on the Prime Minister.

A Labour amendment demanding an extension to Article 50 withdrawal negotiations to provide time to "find a majority for a different approach" was also defeated. 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. The party has said it would support a second referendum amendment to "stop a damaging Tory Brexit", but there are at least two dozen Labour backbenchers hostile to the idea.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE radio: "If you have a long extension of, say, 21 months to the end of 2020 - whatever the period would be - then Britain has a legal entitlement to have representation in the European Parliament" and so must take part in the elections.

If she succeeds, she will go to Brussels next Thursday to request a short delay to a date no later than June 30, to give herself time to pass legislative changes necessarily for a smooth and orderly Brexit.

"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.

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