Brexit crisis: The options on the table for today’s indicative votes
Eight options have been tabled by MPs for today’s fresh set of indicative votes, after no single motion had a majority in the Commons last week.
It’s the latest parliamentary showdown to try to break through the Brexit deadlock, before we leave the EU on the new exit date of 12 April.
The speaker will select which options MPs will vote on later today, with reports suggesting he may only choose up to four of them.
Those options are:
:: Motion A – a unilateral right of exit from the backstop
Tabled by John Baron (Conservative)
This motion would mean that the withdrawal agreement would be amended to allow the UK to unilaterally exit from the Irish backstop.
The European Research Group (ERG) and the DUP have repeatedly made this their policy, however the EU has said it they will not reopen the withdrawal agreement, meaning it’s unlikely to happen in practice.
This will be a new motion, should the speaker select it.
:: Motion B – no deal in the absence of a withdrawal agreement
Tabled by John Baron (Conservative)
This motion would mean that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on the 12 April.
No-deal has been repeatedly called for by some factions of the Conservative and Labour parties, but when this option was voted on last week, only 160 MPs voted for it, with 400 of them voting against.
:: Motion C – customs union
Tabled by Ken Clarke (Conservative) and Hilary Benn (Labour)
This motion would ensure that the withdrawal agreement has to include a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU.
This would be considered as a “soft Brexit” and the prime minister has been warned against pursuing it.
However, this option was by far the most popular option when it was voted on last week, with 264 MPs voting for and 272 voting against.
:: Motion D – Common Market 2.0
Tabled by Nick Boles (Conservative) and Lucy Powell (Labour)
This motion would lead the UK to re-joining the European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area and it would mean the UK would remain in the single market, allowing UK citizens to retain freedom of movement in the EU, and vice-versa.
This option was widely rejected on Wednesday, with 188 MPs voting for and 283 voting against.
:: Motion E – Confirmatory public vote
Tabled by Peter Kyle (Labour)
This motion would mean that any deal could not be ratified in parliament until the public had a chance to vote on it – commonly referred to as a people’s vote.
Dozens of MPs have sponsored this motion, and is growing in popularity in Westminster, particularly after the Labour leadership decided to back the idea.
A people’s vote received 268 votes for, and 295 against at last Wednesday’s vote.
:: Motion F – Public vote to prevent no deal
Tabled by Graham P Jones (Labour) and Dominic Grieve (Conservative)
This is similar to motion E, which would mean asking the public to vote to try and avoid a no-deal Brexit.
:: Motion G – Parliamentary Supremacy
Tabled by Joanna Cherry (SNP)
This motion would mean the government would seek a further extension if deal is not agreed two days before leaving the EU.
If the EU does not accept an extension, MPs would be asked to vote between a no-deal Brexit or revocation of Article 50.
If MPs chose to revoke article 50, work would begin to work out what sort of relationship the UK should have the EU going forward.
This is a new motion, should the speaker select it.
:: Motion H – EFTA and EEA
Tabled by George Eustice (Conservative)
Similar to motion D, this motion would propose that the UK should re-join the European Free Trade Association, effectively keeping the country in the single market.
This would also be a new motion, if the speaker decides to select it.
:: Watch a Sky News Brexit Crisis special this evening, live from Westminster at 6pm with Dermot Murnaghan
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