WITH just two weeks to go until the UK was due to leave the European Union, MPs voted last night to ask for an extension to the Article 50 process.

This was the latest in a week of upheaval for the Brexit process, after MPs voted on Tuesday to reject the prime minister's Brexit deal for a second time, and on Wednesday backed ruling out leaving the European Union without a deal.

And this evening MPs voted 412 to 202 to ask for the extension - meaning the UK is now unlikely to leave the EU as planned on March 29.


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But the campaign for a so-called 'people's vote' suffered a potentially fatal blow after an amendment calling for Article 50 to be delayed specifically so a second referendum could be held was defeated by 334 votes to 85.

Theresa May will present her deal with the EU to Parliament for a third time next Tuesday. If she wins support she will ask Europe to push the Brexit date back no later than June 30. But if it is defeated for a third time she has said this delay would have to be far longer - and would involve the UK taking part in European Parliament elections in May.

The only way now that the UK will still leave as previously planned on March 29 is if the EU refuses to the request to extending Article 50.

Of Gwent's MPs, Monmouth's David Davies - a vocal Brexiteer - was the only one to confirm he would be voting against the extension. Speaking before the vote he said: "We must be out of the EU by the end of March with or without a deal."

Confirming he would vote for the extension, Islwyn MP Chris Evans said he saw "no other possible way forward", and added: "I only hope that the government will not squander the extra time they are given like they have squandered the past two years."

Writing on Twitter after the vote first minister Mark Drakeford said: "While I welcome the commitment to extend Article 50, this must be done now.

"The later we leave this, the greater the chance of us stumbling out of the EU without a deal in two weeks’ time."

He added: "The PM’s deal has already been comprehensively rejected twice and by a historic majority. There is nothing more she can squeeze from this.

"She must now accept defeat and change course to reach a consensus that benefits the whole of the UK."

Brexiteers reacted furiously to the vote.

Writing on Twitter Wales MEP and former leader of Ukip Wales Nathan Gill called the result "very depressing" and accused MPs of "stopping the will of the British people".