Another waste of time ?

The historic sitting of Parliament on Saturday 19 October 2019 was yet another damp squib with MPs, yet again, failing to reach a conclusion on Brexit.

With the majority of MPs in Parliament still in favour of NO BREXIT they managed to force through yet another delay rather than accepting or rejecting the current “new” Withdrawal Agreement.

Are they hoping that people will eventually get fed up and say “Lets Stay”?

The motion put to MPs for debate was

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, and for the purposes of section 1(1)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 and section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, this House approves the negotiated withdrawal agreement titled Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and the framework for the future relationship titled Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom that the United Kingdom has concluded with the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, as well as a Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the operation of the Democratic consent in Northern Ireland provision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, copies of these three documents which were laid before this House on Saturday 19 October.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, selected amendment (a) in the name of the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) to this Motion.

The second motion would also be considered during the debate

That this House approves the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on exit day, without a withdrawal agreement as defined in section 20(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

During the debate, Oliver Letwin proposed his amendment

amendment (a), in motion 1, leave out from “with a deal,” to end and add

“this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.”

Amendment (a) has been tabled in my name and those of many other right hon. and hon. Members, and I do not need to detain the House for long. The purpose of the amendment, as has been said in several interventions and speeches, is to keep in place the insurance policy provided by the Benn Act that prevents us from automatically crashing out if no deal is in place by 31 October.

If passed, the amendment changes the motion being voted on completely and indicates that MPs are withholding approval of the deal (at least for today!)

Following debate a vote on the amendment was taken:

Results were 322 in favour of the amendment with 306 against.

(Statistically, Turnout: 628 votes cast, 51.27% in favour, 48.73% against – perhaps they should have a second vote ?)

Thus, Amendment (a) agreed to.

The Main Question, as amended, was put and agreed to without a further vote as follows:

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.

Thus the day ended with no further progress towards concluding the Brexit question and MPs dodge making a decision again.

As a result of the vote, with no agreement being reached regarding approval of the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, provisions of the “surrender” Act also known as, the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, come into play that requires the Prime Minister to request an extension (another one) to the current extension due to expire on 31 October 2019 – more delay.

What would happen if the EU were to refuse a further extension ?