Coverage and analysis from our reporter in London as MPs vote in Commons ‘super Tuesday’ Brexit clash
PUBLISHED: 13:45 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 29 January 2019
Follow along with political correspondent Geraldine Scott in Westminster on what is being dubbed Brexit’s Super Tuesday showdown in the Commons.
Various factions of MPs are jostling to stamp their mark on the EU withdrawal agenda by proposing a number of amendements.
It will be down to speaker John Bercow to decide which proposals are selected for a vote.
Any successful amendments will not have the force of law, but will carry heavy political weight as a signal to Downing Street and Brussels of what kind of Brexit MPs are likely to approve.
Here are some of the most prominent amendments tabled:
In a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit, the cross-party backed proposal from Dominic Grieve would effectively wrest control of Commons business from the government for six individual days in the run-up to the UK’s scheduled withdrawal date of March 29 with the intention of getting MPs to reach a consensus on how to handle it.
In a similar vein, a move by Labour former minister Yvette Cooper, supported by Tories such as Nick Boles, calls for a vote on a bill that would give parliament control over the Brexit process if Theresa May fails to secure a deal by February 26.
MPs would get a vote on extending Article 50 to the end of the year and preventing a no-deal exit under the terms of the bill. The Labour frontbench has been publicly flirting with throwing its weight behind the amendment.
Brake on the backstop
Tory grandees including 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and former minister Andrew Murrison want a deadline of the end of December 2021 put on the backstop proposal intended to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
The amendment is believed to be viewed favourably by Downing Street as a way of showing Brussels that the Withdrawal Agreement could get through the Commons if concessions are made regarding Northern Ireland.
Another amendment from Sir Graham and Dr Murrison seeks that the backstop is “replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”.
No to no deal
A cross-party effort headed by Tory Dame Caroline Spelman has widespread support and rejects the UK quitting the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement. This would probably be more palatable to the Government than either the Grieve or Cooper bids for MPs to take back control.
Labour’s twin track approach
This calls for MPs to be able to vote on options to stop a no-deal exit, such as a customs union with the EU, as well as the possibility of a new Brexit referendum. Jeremy Corbyn has been careful not to commit Labour to officially back such a poll, though.
Amendments have been tacked on to the Labour push, with the Liberal Democrats calling for Remain to be on the ballot paper in any referendum, and Labour backbenchers urging Parliament to legislate for a public vote.
Commons Exiting the European Union Committee chairman Hilary Benn wants a series of votes on various Brexit options to see where the most support lies.