MPs have voted on a series of amendments designed to influence Theresa May’s Brexit deal and provide alternative ways to break the Parliamentary deadlock over the UK’s departure of the European Union.
Mrs May’s original Brexit deal was rejected by MPs earlier in the month. Of the seven amendments, Caroline Spelman’s rejecting a no-deal Brexit was passed by a majority of eight and an amendment by Sir Graham Brady, asking May to return to EU and negotiate ‘alternative’ backstop, also passed.
On Sir Graham Brady’s backed amendment to find ‘alternative’ to Irish backstop The Commons has voted in favour of returning to Brussels and demanding a change to the Irish backstop plan.
Mansfield Conservative MP Ben Bradley voted in favour as did Newark and Sherwood MP Mark Spencer. Ashfield Labour MP Gloria De Piero voted against the amendment.
All Mr Bradley and Mr Spencer voted against Caroline Spelman’s amendment, Ms De Piero voted for.
Brady’s amendment was voted in favour of by 317 to 301 The proposal, which calls for an ‘alternative arrangement’ to the Irish backstop won the support of the Government An amendment seeking to replace the controversial Irish backstop arrangement with an “alternative” plan has been supported in a Commons vote. The proposal, which was tabled by senior Tory MP Sir Graham Brady, calls for the existing Brexit deal to be reopened in order to renegotiate the arrangement agreed for the Irish border backstop. The amendment, which won the support of the Government, was voted in favour of by 317 to 301.
What does the plan actually call for?
It seeks an “alternative arrangement” to avoid a hard border in Ireland but does not specify what this would be. Commons supporters believe that the amendment, whilst not legally binding, will give the Prime Minister more firepower to go back to Brussels and ask for more concessions and get a Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament. Volume 0%
Shortly before the vote on Tuesday evening, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, Steve Baker, said the group had agreed to support the amendment. Mr Baker said: “We have collectively agreed to support Brady on the basis of the Prime Minister’s promises, especially as regards reopening the Withdrawal Agreement, and that the backstop is only the worst problem. Read more: What is the Irish backstop and why is it so important? “A vote for the Brady amendment is a vote to see if the PM can land a deal that will work. If not, then we are not committed.” But the EU has repeatedly ruled out reopening the draft Withdrawal Agreement and, ahead of Tuesday’s vote French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the Withdrawal Agreement securedis “not renegotiable”.
Speaking at the Southern EU Countries Summit in Cyprus just moments before MPs were due to vote, Mr Macron said: “As the European Council in December clearly indicated, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and EU is the best agreement possible. “It is not renegotiable. After the vote which is taking place now in the House of Commons in London, I hope that the British Government will rapidly present to our negotiator Michel Barnier the next steps which will allow the avoidance of a withdrawal without a deal, which no-one wants, but which we must all – despite everything – prepare for.”
Mrs May’s original Brexit deal was rejected by MPs earlier in the month. Of the seven amendments, Caroline Spelman’s rejecting a no-deal Brexit was passed by a majority of eight.
The vote on amendment to rule out no deal was narrowly passed by 8 - 17 Tory MPs backed the amendment to help it pass.
It is non-binding and could still mean the UK leaves with a no deal MPs have voted in favour of a non-binding amendment that rules out the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
The amendment to block a no deal, which was tabled by Midlands MPs Dame Caroline Spelman and Jack Dromey, was narrowly passed by 318 votes in the Commons to 310. An amendment tabled by Sir Graham Brady, which asks Theresa May to go back to the EU and seek “alternative” arrangements on the Irish backstop, also passed in a night that saw MPs vote on seven separate amendments.