Tue. May 21st, 2019

Brexit amendments: What could MPs vote on?

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EU flag outside Westminster European Photopress Agency

MPs will vote later on whether or not the UK should leave the EU without a deal.

Backbench MPs and opposition parties have put forward six amendments to show which direction they want the government to take on Brexit.

There is no Labour frontbench amendment, as there has been in recent similar votes on Brexit.

It will be down to Speaker John Bercow to decide which ones are put to the vote in the Commons later.

The government motion for debate is:

That this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement.

So, what are the amendments that have been tabled?

The Independent Group amendments

Some members of the Independent Group left their parties over Brexit

Amendment (d) states that “under no circumstances” should the UK leave without a deal, listing the alternatives as revocation of the UK’s intention to leave, extension of the Article 50 period or a second referendum.

Amendment (e) scraps the second half of the government motion, shortening it to: “that this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019”

It has been tabled by the Independent Group, which is consists of eight former Labour MPs and three former Tories, who are all supporter of another EU referendum, and who quit their parties in protest at their Brexit policies.

Plaid Cymru amendment

Amendment (c) calls for an extension to the Article 50 leaving process to 2021, or until a future relationship is agreed.

The amendment also requests a second referendum to take place, on whether or not the UK should leave with the agreed deal, or remain in the EU.

Spelman/Dromey amendment

Press Association
Jack Dromey and Caroline Spelman are working across party lines

The amendment (a) from Labour MP Jack Dromey and Conservative Caroline Spelman also changes the wording of the government motion to “this House rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship”.

Malthouse Compromise

Press Association
The ‘Alternative Arrangements Working Group’ is formed of Tory leavers and remainers working on the ‘Malthouse Compromise’

This amendment (f) sets out the process for a “managed no-deal”. It requests:

  • The government publish tariff schedules
  • An extension of leaving to 22 May 2019
  • ‘Mutual standstill agreements’ between the UK and EU until the end of 2021, including payments to the EU
  • A unilateral guarantee of citizens’ rights

It is called the Malthouse compromise because it was put together by Conservative minister Kit Malthouse, but it has been tabled in the name of former Conservative minister Damian Green.

It is supported by members of the Brexiteer European Research Group of Conservative MPs and former Remain supporters such as Mr Green and Nicky Morgan.

Cancel Brexit amendment

Ken Clarke

One final amendment – (b) has been tabled by former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke, Labour’s Keith Vaz and the SNP’s Angus MacNeil.

It simply calls for the revocation of Article 50 to cancel Brexit.

What happens next?

The Speaker will select amendments at the beginning of the debate, due to start after the Chancellor unveils his spring budget.

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Your guide to Brexit jargon

Brexit amendments: What could MPs vote on?

MPs will vote later on whether or not the UK should leave the EU without a deal. Backbench MPs and opposition parties have put forward six amendments to show which direction they want the government to take on Brexit. There is no Labour frontbench amendment, as there has been in recent similar votes on Brexit.

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