MPs were set to vote on three amendments to Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations today. Speaker John Bercow chose the following three amendments to be debated and voted on, which were:
1. Jeremy Corbyn (Labour) Amendment
This amendment would require the Government to hold another meaningful vote by the 27th February. If the vote is not held, the amendment asks the government to declare there is no longer a deal on the table and to present the next steps it intends to take.
2. Anna Soubry (Tory) Amendment
This amendment requests the Government publishes its most recent official No Deal briefing within a week.
3. Ian Blackford (SNP) Amendment
Requires the Government to extend Article 50 by three months at least.
MPs today also voted on the Prime Minister’s motion which attempted to gain support for her current negotiating position. The Prime Minister’s motion was defeated by a majority of 45 (303 votes to 258). While the vote won’t have any real effect on the Brexit negotiations, it does reverse the win she had a few weeks ago when Parliament voted for the Brady amendment and agreed that the Prime Minister should seek alternative arrangements to the backstop.
Interestingly, one ERG Tory actually abstained on the vote. Sir Bernard Jenkin said that he didn’t think these votes were important (given they’re non-binding), and so spent the time being interviewed by Sky News instead.
None of the three amendments put forward by Tory, Labour and SNP members succeeded. In fact, Anna Soubry withdrew her amendment after Brexit Minister Chris Heaton-Harris suggested that David Lidington (Cabinet Office Minister and Theresa May’s number two) would meet with her and publish the information she is requesting. Soubry did suggest, however, that she would reserve the right to put forward the amendment again in February if the documents were not published.
Ian Blackford’s amendment was defeated quite severely – with just 93 MPs voting in favour and 315 against. The amendment put forward by Corbyn, however, was much closer – losing to the government’s majority by just 16 (306 to 322).
So while Theresa May has been dealt a blow by the Brexiteers in her own government, the other side hasn’t succeeded in throwing her off course just yet. The Prime Minister will continue her attempts at getting the EU to offer some kind of concession on the backstop, while Westminster keeps playing games to try and keep us in the EU.