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EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about the second day of indicative Brexit votes

EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about the second day of indicative Brexit votes

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

MPs are voting for the second time on their preferred Brexit options. The first day of so-called 'indicative votes' saw each plan rejected by the Commons when it was tried last week. MPs are hoping for better luck today. 

How will it work?

The process for MPs to indicate the preference for a new approach to Brexit is the same as last week. MPs will get a paper ballot with the options chosen by Speaker John Bercow from the list below.

MPs will now debate for two hours on their preferred plans from the options before they cast their votes. MPs will be able to select as many or as few as they wish.

The results will be announced by the Speaker, and are expected to come around 22.00.

What happens next?

If there is a majority for one of the options it piles huge pressure on the Government to adopt it. But do not expect that to happen without a fight. The expectation is that Theresa May will put her Brexit deal back to the Commons in a run-off with the favoured indicative vote option. The hope would be that a softer Brexit plan on the table would spur more pro-Brexit MPs to back her deal.

But the PM will be racing against the clock. MPs are plotting to take control of the order paper again on Wednesday to rush though a bill enshrining the selected indicative vote option into law. If they are successful - a symbolic process suddenly becomes a legal one, and the PM will have been dealt a potentially fatal blow.

However, it has also emerged this morning that Downing Street could try to stage a run-off between Theresa May's deal and whatever a majority of MPs can agree on (assuming they agree on anything, of course) tonight.

What will MPs be voting on?

Option C - Customs Union plan tabled by pro-EU Tory MP Ken Clarke

A plan for any Brexit deal agreed with the EU to include the UK remaining in a permanent customs union with the bloc.

The same plan last time lost by 264 votes to 272.


Option D - Commons Market 2.0 tabled by Tory MP Nick Boles

The Norway Plus team have put forward a plan to renegotiate the future relationship part of the Brexit deal. It would keep the UK in the Efta, meaning staying in the single market and a customs union with the bloc.

A similar plan last time lost by 188 votes to 283.


Option E - Second referendum tabled by Labour MP Peter Kyle

Conditional backing for the Brexit deal provided it is put to a nation-wide referendum. The amendment has the most signatories backing it of all those tabled.

The same plan last time lost by 268 votes to 295.


Option G - Prevent a  no-deal Brexit tabled by SNP MP Joanna Cherry

If no agreement is in place the days before exit day the Government must delay Brexit, then hold a vote in Parliament on whether or not to leave without a deal. If Parliament says no, the Government must revoke Article 50 and look into whether a Brexit deal can be agreed that could win the support of the public in a referendum.


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