THE government’s vote to extend the UK’s Brexit deadline by three months was met with relief by Swindon politicians – but they disagreed on what should be done during this extra time.

Last night, MPs passed an Article 50 extension motion by a majority of 412 votes in favour to 202 against. If the EU grants this extension, the UK will leave on June 30 instead of March 29, but if the request isn’t granted, the date remains the same. Prime Minister Theresa May is now expected to bring back her twice-defeated withdrawal deal to the House of Commons for a third meaningful vote next week before the extension request is made.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “If we vote for the withdrawal agreement next week, we would seek a short extension so that we can pass the necessary legislation and sort out the technical aspects, some of which I’ll be doing and I’m very keen to get on with it.

“If we don’t pass that agreement, it’s highly likely that we will have to discuss the length and purpose of the extension beyond June 30. All I’ve ever wanted to do is stop uncertainty and protect Swindon’s economy and the choice is now clear – vote for the deal so we can get out ASAP or prolong it even further and cause more uncertainty, which would be in nobody’s best interest.”

Parliamentary candidate for South Swindon Sarah Church said: “This extension is a glimmer of hope and common sense at last as there isn’t enough time to pass meaningful legislation for an orderly Brexit so we need breathing space to take stock and listen to what the country wants - which isn’t the PM’s red lines or her deal. The way the government has behaved so far beggars belief, with MPs putting the survival of their careers or their party above the national interest, which I think Leavers and Remainers can both agree is disgusting.”

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “I’ve continued to vote for an orderly and pragmatic Brexit and we have now agreed to, potentially, a short extension linked to completing the Brexit negotiations and delivering the democratic will of the people, this was a sensible compromise as we continue to seek to break the deadlock.

“It’s time to provide certainty, people and businesses expect nothing less, and I hope colleagues that feel passionately on both sides will finally agree on a way forward.”

Before discussing the main Article 50 motion, Swindon MPs voted against amendments which included holding a second referendum, giving MPs control of Parliament’s schedule to host indicative votes of how they want to deal with Brexit

Ms Church added: “It’s a shame that the indicative votes motion was defeated, it would have allowed Parliament to tell us what it actually wants and find a cross-party consensus.

“I hope we have something meaningful to say to the EU about what we will do with that extra time instead of continuing with the same meaningless words and rhetoric but we are still banging our heads against the wall, the Conservative government must admit that it can’t do its job and put this to the people.”