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21 May 2024

UK lawmakers vote to avert 'no-deal' Brexit

By Wam/AP

Britain's House of Commons has by the narrowest of margins approved a bill designed to guarantee that the country can't leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

The U.K. has just nine days, until April 12, to approve a divorce deal, come up with a new plan or crash out of the 28-nation bloc without a deal, causing huge disruption for people and businesses in Britain and the EU.

Lawmakers approved by 313-312 a bill that requires Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit deadline if Britain is on the verge of a no-deal exit.

The bill still needs approval from the unelected House of Lords, which is likely.

The law does not compel the EU to agree to a delay.

EU parliamentary committee backs visa-free travel for Britons after Brexit

A European Parliament committee on Wednesday backed giving Britons the right to travel to the European Union without visas after Brexit, following weeks of controversy over the way the draft legislation dubs Gibraltar a UK "colony".

According to Reuters, the decision must still be approved by a plenary session of the EU parliament on Thursday to become EU law.

It would give Britons visa-free travel to the EU even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, on condition that Britain offers the same terms to EU citizens visiting for up to 90 days.

EU leaders next meet on Brexit on 10th April. British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that she would be asking them for another Brexit delay beyond 12th April to agree her stalled EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour party in the hope that it would then be ratified by the UK parliament.