MPs reject ‘no-deal’ scenario – Vote does not rule ‘no-deal’ out

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MPs have rejected the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal in any circumstances as Parliament took control of Britain’s divorce from the bloc.

The Telegraph reports that the cross-party amendment which seeks to rule out a no-deal Brexit was agreed by 312 to 308, a majority of just four, despite Theresa May whipping Tory MPs to vote against it.

The Government defeat means MPs will now be given a vote on Thursday on whether the UK should seek an extension to Article 50 and comes after Mrs May’s deal was crushed on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, a bid by Tory backbenchers to force the Government to pursue a Brexit Plan B failed. MPs voted against the so-called Malthouse Compromise amendment by 374 votes to 164, a majority of 210.

The amendment would have seen the UK seek a short Article 50 extension and a “mutual standstill” agreement with the EU lasting until December 2021 instead of Britain leaving with no-deal.

The Guardian reports “It is important to stress, of course, that the Spelman amendment passed a few minutes ago does not definitely rule out a no-deal Brexit.

There are two reasons for that.

First, it is not a binding amendment. It is not legislation, and it is not a motion that gives a formal instruction to the government as “humble address” motions do.

The government could choose to accept it, and treat it as binding, but it has not said yet that it will. Second, it is not within the government’s power to rule out no deal (in the terms of the motion) because it does not call for article 50 to be revoked, which would probably require separate legislation anyway. Caroline Spelman and Jack Dromey, who tabled it, intended it to signal that ministers should extend article 50 in the event of no deal being agreed. But, as Theresa May says repeatedly, that only postpones the problem.”

Via The Telegraph / The Guardian

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