What Brexit bill amendments will be voted on today?

TODAY MPs are hoping to make their mark on Brexit – in what is shaping up to be an EU withdrawal showdown in the House of Commons.

Any successful amendments will not have the force of law, but will show Theresa May what kind of Brexit MPs are likely to approve.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street, London, for the House of Commons to meet Conservative MPs ahead of 'Super Tuesday'
Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street, London, for the House of Commons to meet Conservative MPs ahead of ‘Super Tuesday’
PA:Press Association

How many amendments will be voted on today?

On January 29 evening, MPs will vote on 12 different amendments designed to restructure Brexit.

But many of them will not be voted on.

It will be down to Speaker John Bercow which proposals are selected for a vote later on Tuesday.

The key amendments

The Brady amendment

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee is the voice of Tory backbenchers.

He tabled an amendment that seeks to replace the controversial backstop with “alternative arrangements” to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

If it it’s passed, supporters believe it gives Mrs May more firepower to go back to Brussels and ask for more concessions and get a Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament.

But it is feared that it may not be passed if it’s selected by Mr Bercow for a vote. Sir Jacob Rees Mogg has said he would oppose Sir Graham’s amendment because it did not say what the backstop would be replaced with.

Grieve amendment

Former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve favours a second Brexit referendum.

In a bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit, he proposes that six Tuesdays from now and March 29 should be set aside for debates in Parliament on motions not chosen by the government.

He argues this would get MPs to reach a consensus on how to handle it.

Yvette Cooper amendment

Labour former minister Yvette Cooper, supported by Tories such as Nick Boles, calls for a vote on a Bill that would give Parliament control over the Brexit process if Theresa May fails to secure a deal by February 26.

MPs would get a vote on extending Article 50 to the end of the year and preventing a no-deal exit under the terms of the Bill. The Labour frontbench has been publicly flirting with throwing its weight behind the amendment.

No to no deal

A cross-party effort headed by Tory Dame Caroline Spelman has widespread support and rejects the UK quitting the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement. This would probably be more palatable to the Government than either the Grieve or Cooper bids for MPs to take back control.

Labour’s twin track approach

This calls for MPs to be able to vote on options to stop a no-deal exit, such as a customs union with the EU, as well as the possibility of a new Brexit referendum. Jeremy Corbyn has been careful not to commit Labour to officially back such a poll, though.

Amendments have been tacked on to the Labour push, with the Liberal Democrats calling for Remain to be on the ballot paper in any referendum, and Labour backbenchers urging Parliament to legislate for a public vote.

Indicative votes

Commons Exiting the European Union Committee chairman Hilary Benn wants a series of votes on various Brexit options to see where the most support lies.

The Malthouse Compromise

Only an emerging plan at this point, it would extend the transition period from the end of 2020 and in to December 2021 and allow the UK and EU to “prepare properly” for WTO terms or “obviate this outcome by negotiating a mutually beneficial future relationship”.

Liberal Democrat amendment

A committee of around 17 MPs will be selected to represent the Commons, for discussions on Brexit.


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