28 Mar 2019

No majority for any proposed Brexit option

11:18 am on 28 March 2019

British MPs have rejected all options put to them on how to find a way forward out of the Brexit deadlock.

UK Parliament

The UK Parliament Photo: AFP / Mark Duffy / UK Parliament

After wresting control of the Brexit process from the government earlier this week, they voted on eight separate Brexit options.

Those options ranged from cancelling Brexit to leaving the EU without a deal.

But the MPs have failed to reach a majority on any of them.

Earlier they did vote in favour of delaying the Brexit date from tomorrow to either 12 April or 22 May.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to resign if MPs back her Brexit deal which she hopes to put to a third vote this week.

How the votes on the options came down:

  • No Deal - 160-400
  • Common market - 188-283
  • EFTA and EEA - 65-377
  • Customs union - 264-272
  • Labour's plan - 237-307
  • Revoke Article 50 - 184-293
  • Referendum - 268-295
  • Malthouse Plan B - 139-422

Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay said the results strengthened the government's view that their deal was the "the best option".

He told MPs it was clear there was no "simple way forward".

Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who oversaw the unprecedented process of indicative votes, said the lack of a majority for any proposition was "disappointing".

While he said he believed MPs should be allowed to have another go at reaching a consensus on Monday, he said this would not be needed if the PM's deal was approved before then.

The options on the table:

  • No-deal Brexit - Leave the EU on 12 April without a deal - Tory MP John Baron
  • Common Market 2.0 - The UK joins the European Economic Area and negotiates a temporary customs union until alternative arrangements can be found - Tory MP Nick Boles
  • EFTA/EEA - Similar to Common Market 2.0 but rejects any kind of customs union with the EU and says the Irish backstop must be replaced with alternative arrangements - Tory MP George Eustice
  • Customs union - Calls for the UK to negotiate a permanent customs union with the EU after Brexit - Tory MP Ken Clarke
  • Labour's alternative plan - A customs union with the EU and "close alignment" with the single market - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
  • Revoke Article 50 - Cancel Brexit if the UK gets within days of leaving without a deal. MPs would be asked to vote on a no-deal exit and if they rejected that, Article 50 would be revoked - SNP MP Joanna Cherry
  • Confirmatory public vote - Parliament cannot ratify or implement any agreement on the UK's withdrawal and future relationship "unless and until they have been approved by the people of the UK in a confirmatory public ballot" - Labour MP Margaret Beckett
  • Malthouse Plan B - The UK makes its budgetary contributions to the EU to the end of 2020 and agrees with the EU a period of two years in which UK goods have full access to the EU - Tory MP Marcus Fysh

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