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MPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit in massive defeat for Theresa May

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LONDON — Members of Parliament have voted to reject a no-deal Brexit in a further catastrophic blow to Theresa May’s authority.

The House of Commons voted by 312 to 308 to endorse an amendment in the name of Tory MP Caroline Spelman which asked MPs if they opposed the prospect of leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement on March 29 under any circumstances.

The government had whipped Tory MPs to oppose the amendment, meaning some ministers who supported it could now be forced to resign.

Victory for the Spelman amendment does not change the law but represents a further significant blow to the authority of the prime minister, who had hoped MPs would instead back her own motion which represented a watered-down version of the plan.

The prime minister had been forced to hold the votes after her Brexit deal was defeated for a second time by a huge margin of 149 House of Commons votes on Tuesday evening.

MPs could now seize greater control of the next stages of Brexit.

There will be a vote on Thursday evening on whether to seek an Article 50 extension, a move which if granted by the EU would delay Brexit beyond March 29, when the UK is currently scheduled to leave.

This is a developing story.

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