UK Parliament rejects 8 Brexit options, agrees to delay withdrawal until at least April
Published time: 27 Mar, 2019 22:30
Edited time: 27 Mar, 2019 22:51
Speaker of the House John Bercow announces the results of the vote on alternative Brexit options in Parliament in London © Reuters / Reuters TV
British MPs have voted against eight Brexit options introduced on Wednesday night, rejecting the opposition’s plan and ‘soft’ Brexit scenarios. It comes after they agreed to delay the divorce until at least April.
In a series of indicative votes, MPs voted down eight separate Brexit proposals, ranging from an extreme no-deal option to the so-called Norway+ scenario, one of the softest version of what has turned into a bitter separation between the EU and UK.
steadfast – No deal. Introduced by Conservative MP John Baron: 400 against, 160 for
Motion D – Common market or the so-called Norway+ model. Introduced by Conservative MP Nick Boles: 283 against, 188 for
Motion H – EEA-EFTA Norway option without customs union. Introduced by Conservative MP George Eustice: 422 against, 139 for
Motion J – Customs Union. Introduced by Conservative MP Ken Clarke: 272 against, 264 for
Motion K – Customs union + alignment with single market. Introduced by Labor’s leader Jeremy Corbyn: 307 against, 237 for
Motion L – Revoke Article 50. Introduced by MP Joanna Cherry, SNP: 293 against, 188 for
Motion M – Confirmatory referendum on any withdrawal deal. Introduced by Dame Margarett Beckett, Labour: 295 against, 268 for
Motion O – Put in place contingent arrangement while negotiating a trade deal. Introduced by Conservative MP Marcus Fysh: 422 against, 139 for
Before the vote on Brexit options, MPs agreed to shift the date when the UK leaves the EU to at least until April 22. It can be further delayed up to 22 May if the Brexit deal negotiated by PM Theresa May and the EU continues to fail with the MPs.
Speaking after the results of the indicative votes were revealed, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay again urged the MPs to reconsider their steadfast opposition to the deal negotiated by the May government, calling it the best option left on the table.
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“The results of the process this house has gone through today strengthens our view that the deal the government has negotiated is the best option,” he said.
Earlier this day, May has offered herself as a sacrifice to the Brexit proceedings, promising to step down once her deal is backed by the lawmakers. While the pledge struck a chord with a group of hardline Brexiteer MPs from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group caucus, their approval would not have been enough to sway the vote without the support of the Democratic Union Party (DUP). The DUP has categorically rejected backing the deal while it has an Irish backstop in it, stating on Wednesday that the agreement “poses a threat to the integrity of the UK.”
“Indicative votes” have been proposed by the Exiting the EU Committee after the MPs and the UK government found themselves in a deadlock over Brexit. They are a series of votes on non-binding resolutions that test MPs sentiment towards different options, in this case, on leaving the EU, with an ultimate goal to narrow them down.