Friday 20 September 2019

Explainer: What are the four Brexit options MPs are voting on now?

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA

David Hughes and Richard Wheeler

MPs will choose from four Brexit options in the second round of the indicative vote process after Speaker John Bercow made his slection of motions to be put to the vote.

Here are the motions selected by Mr Bercow:

- Motion C: Customs union

Tory former chancellor Ken Clarke's customs union plan requires any Brexit deal to include, as a minimum, a commitment to negotiate a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU".

This was defeated by the smallest margin in the first round, falling just six votes short. Labour will support the plan again.

- Motion D: Common market 2.0

Tabled by Conservatives Nick Boles, Robert Halfon and Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour's Stephen Kinnock, Lucy Powell plus the SNP's Stewart Hosie.

The motion proposes UK membership of the European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area. It allows continued participation in the single market and a "comprehensive customs arrangement" with the EU after Brexit - including a "UK say" on future EU trade deals - would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal which guarantees frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.

Labour and the SNP will support the amendment.

- Motion E: Confirmatory public vote

It has been drawn up by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson. This motion would require a public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by Parliament before its ratification. This option, tabled last time by Labour former minister Dame Margaret Beckett, polled the highest number of votes although was defeated by 295 votes to 268.

Labour is expected to back the plan.

- Motion G: Parliamentary supremacy

SNP MP Joanna Cherry joins with Dominic Grieve and MPs from other parties with this plan to seek an extension to the Brexit process, and if this is not possible then Parliament will choose between either no-deal or revoking Article 50.

An inquiry would follow to assess the future relationship likely to be acceptable to Brussels and have majority support in the UK.

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