EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Commons 20 June 2018

MPs continued debating the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 20 June 2018, following its return from the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

The outstanding point of contention was the Lords amendment to give parliament a “meaningful vote“.

The argument is about what should happen in the following cases:

MPs reject the final Brexit deal

or

Theresa May announces before 21 Jan 2019 that no deal has been reached

or

21 Jan 2019 passes without a deal being agreed

If one of these occurs, the Government has said a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the proposed next steps which MPs will vote on. The Lords’ amendment suggests that MPs should have to “approve” the minister’s statement.

David Davis issued a Government statement explaining that it would ultimately be up to the Speaker to decide whether MPs could amend the Government’s plans if no deal is reached by 21 January. Dominic Grieve then announced he would no longer be backing his amendment and that he would “accept the Government’s difficulty” and support the Government.

After a short debate the vote was

303 in favour of the amendment (ayes) with 319 against the amendment (noes) giving a majority of 16 against the amendment.

6 Conservative MPs voted “for” the amendment

Heidi Allen (South Cambridgeshire)
Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Dr Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe)
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

4 Labour MPs voted with the Government “against” the amendment

Frank Field (Birkenhead)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
John Mann (Bassetlaw)
Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

The Bill is now returned to the House of Lords, now one step closer to being enshrined as Law.