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Brexit next steps – Commons Vote 14 February 2019

Parliament debated a motion on the 14 February 2019, put forward by the Government, asking for the continued support of the House in negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU.

That this House welcomes the Prime Minister’s statement of 12 February 2019; reiterates its support for the approach to leaving the EU expressed by this House on 29 January 2019 and notes that discussions between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland backstop are ongoing.

Three amendments were selected:

(a) in the name of the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn);

Amendment proposed: (a), in line 1, leave out from “House” to end and add

“requires by 27 February 2019 a Minister of the Crown either (a) to move another motion under Section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 or (b) to make a written statement declaring that there is no longer an agreement in principle in the negotiations with the European Union and to move no later than that date an amendable motion on how the Government proposes to proceed.”.—(Jeremy Corbyn.)

(i) in the name of the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford);

Amendment proposed: (i), in line 1, leave out from “House” to end and add

“requires that a Minister of the Crown immediately begin negotiations with the European Council to extend the period specified under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union by no fewer than three months from 29 March 2019, and bring forward an appropriate amendment to section 20 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to facilitate this change.”.—(Ian Blackford.)

(e) in the name of the right hon. Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry).

would have required the Government to publish its most recent no-deal briefing documents. After the Government offered to release pertinent documentation in consultation with the MPs tabling the motion, the amendment was withdrawn.

Following debate, the following votes were recorded

Amendment (a): For 306, Against 322

Amendment (i): For 93, Against 315

Amendment (e): not voted on

The motion was put to a vote: For 258, Against 303 defeating the motion raised by the Government.

243 Conservative MPs voted with the Government, 5 against the Government and the rest abstaining.

Brexit Debate 29 January 2019 – Result

The Brexit debate held on the 29 January 2019 resulted in an agreement to reject “No Deal” (amendment (i)) and “requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements” (amendment (n)). The House (of Commons) would then “support the Withdrawal Agreement subject to this change”.

The next step is for the Prime Minister to discuss with the EU whether suitable changes can be made to the Backstop arrangement, that is currently defined in the Withdrawal Agreement, which would enable the Withdrawal Agreement to be ratified by the House of Commons.

Initial indications from the EU are that “negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened“.

It is also unclear exactly what “alternative arrangements” actually mean. Could it simply be a case of adding a “legally binding” commitment for an expiry date for the Backstop and would this be sufficient ?

More details on the votes follow:

Amendments selected by the Speaker were as follows:

The following amendments in the following order: (a) in the name of the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn; (o) in the name of the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Mr Ian Blackford; (g) in the name of the right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield, Dominic Grieve; (b) in the name of the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, Yvette Cooper; (j) in the name of the hon. Member for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves; (i) in the name of the right hon. Member for Meriden, Dame Caroline Spelman; and (n) in the name of the hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale West, Sir Graham Brady. Reference may be made in debate to any of the amendments on the Order Paper, including those I have not selected.

The debate was opened by Theresa May. Following lengthy discussion, votes on the amendments were taken at around 7:00 pm

Full details of the amendments can be found in earlier articles or in the order paper at

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmagenda/OP190129.pdf

Amendment (a) (Jeremy Corbyn) was defeated

votes on the amendment were 296 for and 327 against

Amendment (o) (Ian Blackford) was defeated

votes on the amendment were 39 for and 327 against

Amendment (g) (Mr Grieve) was defeated

votes on the amendment were 301 for and 321 against

Amendment (b) (Yvette Cooper) was defeated

votes on the amendment were 298 for and 321 against

Amendment (j) (Rachel Reeves) was defeated

votes on the amendment were 290 for and 322 against

Amendment (i) (Dame Caroline Spelman) was won (amendment will be made to the motion)

votes on the amendment were 318 for and 310 against

Amendment (n) (Sir Graham Brady) was won (amendment will be made to the motion)

votes on the amendment were 317 for and 301 against

So the Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to now reads:

That this House, in accordance with the provisions of section 13(6)(a) and 13(11)(b)(i) and 13(13)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, has considered the Written Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018” and made on 21 January 2019, and the Written Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(11)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018” and made on 24 January 2019, and rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship, and requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border; supports leaving the European Union with a deal and would therefore support the Withdrawal Agreement subject to this change.

My additional comments would be:

#Brexit – Amendment to rule out no deal is passed by 318 votes to 310. Has the Commons “emphatically rejected” the option of a No Deal at 50.6% to 49.4% or did MPs “not understand what they were voting for” ?

#Brexit “Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border” 317 to 301 (51.3% to 48.7%). What are alternative arrangements and does the EU 27 even want further discussion about it ?

It is also interesting to see in more detail the voting patterns of MPs which can be found through the Hansard proceedings for the the day via

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-01-29/debates/BB8A5769-12B4-4D0E-9B4E-158F89F9FCDE/EuropeanUnion(Withdrawal)Act2018

For example,

for Amendment (b) (Yvette Cooper), 17 Conservative MPs voted AGAINST the Government and 14 Labour MPs voted WITH the Government.

for Amendment (g) (Mr Grieve) 15 Conservative MPs voted AGAINST the Government and 14 Labour MPs voted WITH the Government.

It appears that the main Conservative “rebels” are those strongly in favour of remaining in the EU.

The DUP voted in the Government’s favour with all the amendments.

Brexit Debate 29 January 2019 – Amendments #3

The final list of amendments submitted for consideration during the Brexit Debate scheduled for 29 January 2019. The actual amendments, which will be selected for a vote, will be decided by the Speaker (John Bercow)

Summary Agenda and Order of Business

Order Paper

3. SECTION 13 (4) OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018

Until 7.00pm (if the Business of the House Motion is agreed to)

The Prime Minister

That this House, in accordance with the provisions of section 13(6)(a) and 13(11)(b)(i)
and 13(13)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, has considered the Written
Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act
2018” and made on 21 January 2019, and the Written Statement titled “Statement under
Section 13(11)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018”and made on 24 January
2019.


Amendment (a)

Jeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Emily Thornberry
John McDonnell
Ms Diane Abbott
Mr Nicholas Brown

Alex Sobel Stephen Morgan Seema Malhotra Hilary Benn Matt Western Rachel Reeves Helen Goodman Liz McInnes Peter Kyle Stephen Doughty Imran Hussain Barry Gardiner Anna McMorrin Wayne David Mr Paul Sweeney Lloyd Russell-Moyle Rushanara Ali Catherine McKinnell Emma Reynolds Andy Slaughter Ms Karen Buck Mary Creagh Stella Creasy Lilian Greenwood Wes Streeting Bill Esterson Helen Hayes Stephen Twigg Phil Wilson Stephen Timms Ian Murray Preet Kaur Gill Geraint Davies Ruth George Mr David Lammy Lesley Laird Danielle Rowley Darren Jones Kate Green Daniel Zeichner Kerry McCarthy Owen Smith Anna Turley Mr Clive Betts Dr Rupa Huq Ged Killen Graham P Jones Catherine West Martin Whitfield Joan Ryan Siobhain McDonagh Rachael Maskell Jo Stevens Marsha De Cordova Mr George Howarth Gareth Thomas Clive Lewis Sandy Martin Kate Osamor Meg Hillier Matt Rodda

Line 1, leave out from “House” to end and add “requires ministers to secure sufficient time
for the UK Parliament to consider and vote on options to prevent the UK leaving
the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, and that
those options should include:

(i) Negotiating changes to the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political
Declaration so as to secure a permanent customs union with the EU,
a strong relationship with the single market underpinned by shared
institutions and obligations, and dynamic alignment on rights and
standards, in order to command a majority in the House of Commons;

(ii) Legislating to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition that has
commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons.”.

Brexit Debate 29 January 2019 – Amendments #2

An update to the current list of amendments submitted for consideration during the Brexit Debate scheduled for 29 January 2019

Summary Agenda and Order of Business

Order Paper

108. SECTION 13 (4) OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018

The Prime Minister

That this House, in accordance with the provisions of section 13(6)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, has considered the Written Statement titled “Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018” and made on 21 January 2019.


Amendment (a)

Jeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Emily Thornberry
John McDonnell
Ms Diane Abbott
Mr Nicholas Brown

Alex Sobel Stephen Morgan Seema Malhotra Hilary Benn Matt Western Rachel Reeves Helen Goodman Liz McInnes Peter Kyle Stephen Doughty Imran Hussain Barry Gardiner Anna McMorrin Wayne David Mr Paul Sweeney Lloyd Russell-Moyle Rushanara Ali Catherine McKinnell Emma Reynolds Andy Slaughter Ms Karen Buck Mary Creagh Stella Creasy Lilian Greenwood Wes Streeting Bill Esterson Helen Hayes Stephen Twigg Phil Wilson Stephen Timms Ian Murray Preet Kaur Gill Geraint Davies Ruth George Mr David Lammy Lesley Laird Danielle Rowley Darren Jones Kate Green

Line 1, leave out from “House” to end and add “requires ministers to secure sufficient time for the UK Parliament to consider and vote on options to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, and that those options should include:

(i) Negotiating changes to the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration so as to secure a permanent customs union with the EU, a strong relationship with the single market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations, and dynamic alignment on rights and standards, in order to command a majority in the House of Commons;

(ii) Legislating to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons.”.

As Amendments to Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed Amendment (a)

Tom Brake
Sir Edward Davey
Wera Hobhouse
Jo Swinson
Jamie Stone

Line 5, leave out paragraph (i)

Tom Brake
Sir Edward Davey
Wera Hobhouse
Jo Swinson
Jamie Stone

Line 10, after “vote” insert “on the option to stay in the European Union and”


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