MPs are in control of Brexit today after seizing the Commons order paper for the first time in modern history.
There will be ‘indicative votes’ on up to 16 different plans for Brexit from 7pm tonight – just two days before Britain was originally due to leave the EU.
The results are due around 9pm and will almost certainly be contradictory – and it is very possible MPs support no plans at all.
The landmark moment amid the Brexit chaos is set to begin soon after PMQs – and must start by 2pm.
The first phase will be an arcane debate on the exact rules for tonight’s votes, including almost certainly a last ditch effort to call the whole thing off.
Around 3pm, Speaker John Bercow will select from the 16 draft proposals which ones will actually be voted on. He is expected to choose six to 10 ideas for a debate that will run until 7pm.
Unlike a normal Commons vote, the House will then be suspended for the brand new procedure. MPs will have 30 minutes to fill in a ballot paper before voting in a box in the No lobby.
MPs will be asked to vote yes or no to each plan. They can support as many as they like.
After 7.30pm, Commons clerks will scramble to count the votes all at once – a process expected to take at least an hour and potentially longer.
During the count, MPs will also debate and vote changing British law to reflect exit on Friday has been cancelled.
Mrs May has said she will not necessarily be bound by the results – particularly if they are ‘undeliverable’ by the EU.
How tonight’s key votes will work…
Theresa May has said she will not necessarily be bound by the results – particularly if they are ‘undeliverable’ by the EU
What PM needs to edge to victory… by just 2 votes. There are 235 Tory loyalists, 10 switchers, 30 who with back the deal if May quits, 10 DUP supporters and 24 Labour
…And the Brexit options that MPs could decide on
Revoke Article 50
Put forward by SNP’s Joanna Cherry and backed by 33 MPs including Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Labour’s Ben Bradshaw and all 11 members of The Independent Group.
It demands that if no deal has been agreed on the day before Brexit that MPs will get the chance to cancel the UK’s notice to Brussels it would leave the EU.
Britain is allowed to unilaterally cancel Article 50 and stay a member on its current terms, according to a ruling of the European Court. It would bring an end to the existing negotiations – but would not legally rule them being restarted.
Labour ex-foreign secretary Margaret Beckett
States that MPs will not sanction leaving the EU unless it has been put to the electorate for a ‘confirmatory vote’.
Labour’s Gareth Snell
Demands that ministers negotiate a new customs union with Brssels, which would prevent the country being able to strike its own trade deals.
Also includes a comprehensive customs union but with a UK say on future trade deals and close alignment with the single market.
Proposed by Eurosceptic Tory MP John Baron.
Tabled a motion demanding ‘the UK will leave the EU on 12 April 2019’ without a deal. However, a No Deal Brexit has already been rejected twice by MPs.
Common Market 2.0
Tabled by Conservatives Nick Boles, Robert Halfon and Andrew Percy and Labour’s Stephen Kinnock, Lucy Powell and Diana Johnson.
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, which would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal which guarantees frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.
This is a cross-party proposal calls for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement to be implemented with the controversial ‘backstop’ for the Irish border replaced by alternative arrangements.
Backed by Conservatives from both the Leave and Remain wings of the party, including Nicky Morgan, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Damian Green, Steve Baker and Sir Graham Brady, as well as the DUP’s Nigel Dodds and Labour Brexiteer Kate Hoey.
The proposals have already been rejected by the EU.
Tory former minister George Eustice
Would keep the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA), but unlike the Common Market 2.0 plan would not involve a customs arrangement. Again, similar to Norway’s deal.