House of Commons vote on no-deal Brexit

13 March 2019

The House of Commons has voted to reject leaving the UK without a deal, 321 to 278 a margin of 43. 

No-deal debate and vote

Following debate, MPs voted to reject leaving the European Union without a deal. The vote is not legally binding, but indicates the will of the House. Until an alternative outcome is legislated for, it remains the legal default that, in the absence of a deal ratified by both the House of Commons and the EU 27, the UK will exit without a deal.

The initial motion, tabled in the name of the Prime Minister, was;

"That this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement."

This motion rejected leaving without a deal on March 29 2019.

Amendments to the no-deal motion

The Speaker selected two amendments to the motion.

The first, amendment (a) in the name of Dame Caroline Spellman, altered the motion to reject the UK leaving the EU, at any point, without a deal.

The amendment passed with a slim majority of 4; 312 MPs voted in favour of the amendment vs. 308 voting to reject.

The second, amendment (f), in the name of Damian Green would have called for an extension to enable more time for a managed no-deal exit. It was defeated 164 to 374.

The motion as amended was put to a vote and approved 321 to 278. The Government had promised a free vote to its MPs on the final motion, and several ministers abstained.

What happens next?

Following the vote, the Prime Minister said;

"The legal default in UK and EU law remains that the UK will leave the EU without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is. The options before us are the same as they always have been"

She confirmed that the House would be given an opportunity today to vote on seeking and extension to Article 50, but cautioned that the EU were not obliged to grant such a request and had indicated they were not inclined to do so without a clear purpose for the delay.

Speaking after the Prime Minister in an emergency businesses statement, the Leader of the House announced a revised schedule for Thursday 14 March, with debate on a motion to extend Article 50 expected at approximately 11.30am.

'Meaningful vote' Tuesday 12 March

The Government's Withdrawal Agreement and Political Framework for leaving the EU were defeated on 12 March 2019 in a second 'meaningful vote'.

Image: PC - Jessica Taylor

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