MPs voted on a series of amendments in Parliament this evening. The amendments included moves to rule out a no-deal scenario and backing of a second referendum. Pressure is now mounting for the Prime Minister to get her deal backed by the Commons.
What happened this evening?
Five amendments were tabled this evening, including the Cooper amendment on Article 50 and Brexit date and Labour’s amendment on an alternative Brexit plan.
Firstly, Tory MP Caroline Spelman and Labour’s Jack Dromey tabled an amendment which would ensure Prime Minister Theresa May’s promise to give MPs a vote on delaying Brexit is legally binding.
But after receiving assurances from the Government they would commit to the promise, the MPs withdrew their amendment.
The Government also accepted Alberto Costa’s amendment to protect the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens rights in the UK.
This amendment passed unanimously.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment was also accepted by the Government.
This means the Government will be committing the UK to extend Article 50 if MPs vote to delay Brexit.
The amendment was passed with 502 votes to 20.
But as some saw success in the Commons on Wednesday, Labour’s amendment putting forwards their own plan for Brexit was rejected by 323 votes to 240.
MPs from the Independent Group, SNP, Green Party and Liberal Democrats abstained from voting on the Labour amendment.
SNP’s amendment seeking to rule out a no-deal Brexit was also rejected by 324 votes to 288.
What happens next?
Theresa May is still attempting to get her Brexit deal passed by Parliament.
A so-called meaningful vote will take place in the Commons before March 12, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
If the deal finally passes, MPs would then move on to the legislation required to implement the deal, ideally by March 29.
But if the withdrawal agreement gets rejected, which experts expect it will be, Mrs May has promised there will be a vote on leaving the EU with no deal.
If this fails as well, there will be a vote calling for a Brexit delay.
In the event all three votes get voted down, the legal default would still be leaving with no deal.
However, at this stage, this seems highly unlikely.