Tonight is yet another night full of votes in the House of Commons, with seven amendments being submitted. Ultimately Speaker John Bercow selected three to be voted on. So here is a short summary of the amendments MPs will be voting on tonight, as well as those rejected by Bercow.
The following amendments are set to be voted on this evening:
The Corbyn Amendment
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has tabled an amendment which acknowledges the proposed alternatives to the prime minister’s Brexit deal. It also calls for a series of indicative votes which allow MPs to show their support for the alternate solutions. The exact format of the indicative votes hasn’t yet been determined; but essentially MPs would be asked which of the different Brexit approaches they’d support. Whichever option had the greatest support would be the United Kingdom’s official strategy for Brexit going forward.
For these votes to go ahead, there needs to be time set aside to hold them. Ordinarily only the government is allowed to schedule votes in the House, but through this amendment, MPs are attempting to take control of the situation and schedule the indicative votes themselves – likely on Wednesday.
Then Letwin Amendment
Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment is similar to Corbyn’s, seeking to take control of business on Wednesday. This gives control of the Parliamentary agenda to Parliament, and would likely result in the house scheduling a series of indicative votes.
The Beckett Amendment
Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett has put forward an amendment which attempts to give MPs more power when a no deal Brexit becomes likely. When the UK gets one week away from leaving with no deal in place, MPs would be given a vote where they can choose between leaving with no deal or requesting another extension in order to “give time for Parliament to determine a different approach”
The following amendments were tabled, but rejected by Speaker John Bercow.
The Liberal Democrat’s Amendment
The amendment tabled by the Liberal Democrats seeks a longer extension to Brexit. The EU has allowed the UK to extend the Brexit deadline up until May 22nd. However, the Lib Dems wanted a lot longer, as do the Independent Group who officially support the amendment. This amendment seeks a longer two year extension, which opens the door to a whole range of Brexit options – including a second referendum, a completely renegotiated deal or a general election.
The Independent Group’s Amendment
The amendment that was tabled by the Liberal Democrats tried to establish a longer extension for Brexit. The EU has already allowed the UK to extend the Brexit deadline up until May 22nd, however, the Lib Dems (and the independent group who also officially supported the amendment) wanted a lot longer. This amendment attempted to secure a longer two year extension, which would have opened the door to a whole range of Brexit options – including a second referendum, a completely renegotiated deal or a general election.
The Quince Amendment
Will Quince, another Conservative MP tabled an amendment which reaffirms the government’s commitment to honour the referendum result. The amendment argues that 85% of votes cast in the 2017 general election, were for parties who promised to abide by the referendum result. As such he wants to reaffirm that the government will honour the vote and the will of the people. As you might expect this amendment garnered support from the ERG members as well as some members of the DUP.
The Cooper Amendment
Labour’s Yvette Cooper has also submitted an amendment. It states that if a deal is not reached by Thursday, then the government must explain how it plans to ensure the UK won’t leave with no deal. The amendment said that the government should take MP’s recent votes into account; for example when they voted against a no deal Brexit and in favour of an extension. Therefore, the argument goes that in order to honour the will of the house, there must be provisions put in place to prevent the UK from leaving with no deal.