Government defeated on Brexit next steps motion

15 February 2019

The Government's motion, asking for the continued support of the House in negotiating the UK's exit from the EU according to the approach which won a majority of MPs on 29 January 2019, was defeated.

On 29 January 2019, the House of Commons amended a neutral motion to express that the House rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal, and would not accept the Northern Ireland backstop in its current form.

The Prime Minister said she intended to take this consensus back to the EU and work to negotiate towards a deal that could win the support of the House.

Returning to the Commons with a statement on 12 February, the Prime Minister said that negotiations with the EU were ongoing and laid out a timetable for a second 'meaningful vote' or an amendable motion if a deal could not be reached by 26 February 2019.

She said that MPs "all need to hold our nerve" to deliver a deal in time and asked for the support of the Chamber, saying,

"The House has also reconfirmed its view that it does not want to leave the EU without a deal. The Government agree, but opposing no deal is not enough to stop it. We must agree a deal that this House can support, and that is what I am working to achieve."

14 February 14 2019 - debate and defeat

The Prime Minister had hoped to secure the continued support of the House of Commons to strengthen her negotiating position in ongoing talks with Brussels, but the Government motion to that effect failed to secure a majority.

Amendments were tabled by Members across the House, with three selected for debate by the Speaker.

The official Opposition Amendment (a) in the name of Jeremy Corbyn aimed to set a deadline for another 'meaningful vote'. It was defeated 322 to 306.

The SNP's Amendment (i) in the name of Ian Blackford would have required the Government to immediately begin negotiations for an extension to Article 50. It was defeated 315 to 93.

Anna Soubry's Amendment (e) would have required the Government to publish its most recent no-deal briefing documents. After the Government offered to release pertinent documentation in consultation with the MPs tabling the motion, the amendment was withdrawn.

The unamended motion was defeated at division, 303 to 258.

Speaking after the vote, Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to admit that the Government did not have a "coherent plan". He said,

"Tonight’s vote shows that there is no majority for the Prime Minister’s course of action in dealing with Brexit."

Image: PC

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