Pound Slips as U.K Lawmakers Reject Amendment to Extend Brexit Deadline
U.K. lawmakers on Tuesday rejected an amendment to extend the deadline for Britain to leave the European Union.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment, which sought to extend Article 50 if MPs fail to approve the Withdrawal Agreement by Feb. 26, was voted down. Without an option to extend the deadline beyond March 29, there's a risk the U.K. crashes out of the EU without deal.
GBP/USD fell 0.50% to $1.3096.
"The Brady Amendment," which was tabled by a senior Conservative lawmaker Graham Brady and aimed to renegotiate the Irish backstop, won the backing of U.K lawmakers by a slender margin of 16 votes. The Irish backstop seeks to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
In a show of force against a no-deal Brexit, MPs voted in support of the Spelman 'no-deal Amendment', with 318 votes to 310, a margin of 8. The amendment is advisory and has no legislative force.
The series of amendments to the Withdrawal Deal focused on resolving the Irish backstop issue and ensuring Britain does not leave the EU without a deal.
Prime Minister Theresa May will head to Brussels and seek to persuade EU lawmakers to consider amendments to the Withdrawal Deal. The EU, however, has been reluctant to reopen the withdrawal deal, which suffered one of the biggest defeats in U.K. parliamentary history on Jan. 15.