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House of Commons debates Brexit next steps

29 January 2019 (updated on 29 January 2019)

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On Tuesday 29 January, MPs debated a motion tabled following the Prime Minister's written statement of  21 January 2019. Two amendments were approved by the House of Commons, indicating that a majority of MPs were against exiting the EU without a deal, and against the Northern Irish backstop in its current form.

The Prime Minister's negotiated deal failed to receive the House's approval on 15 January, and so last Monday's statement set out what she intended to do next. MPs have proposed amendments to her plan. The 29 January vote was not a vote to formally approve the negotiated deal, but to allow the House to express its views on what should happen next.

Which amendments were selected?

The Speaker selected seven amendments for debate, all of which were moved.

Which amendments were approved by the House?

  • Amendment (i ) - Dame Caroline Spelman

House of Commons voted 318 to 310 to approve the Spelman amendment (i) to the Prime Minister's motion. This amendment rejects leaving the EU without a deal.

  • Amendment (n) - Sir Graham Brady

The Government supported the Brady amendment (n) and it was approved by division 317-301. This amendment requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with "alternative arrangements" and would support the #WithdrawalAgreement "subject to this change".

Which amendments were not approved by the House?

  • Amendment (a) - Jeremy Corbyn

The official Opposition's amendment was defeated by division, 327 to 296. This amendment would have required ministers to find time for Parliament to consider and vote on options which prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

  • Amendment (o) - Ian Blackford

The House of Commons voted against the SNP and Plaid Cymru Amendment (o) to the motion by 327 to 39. This amendment called for an extension of the Article 50 period, ruled out no deal, and said that "the people of Scotland should not be taken out of the EU against their will".

  • Amendment (g) - Mr Dominic Grieve

The Grieve amendment was rejected by division, 321 to 301. This amendment would have suspended Standing Order 14 on 12 & 26 Feb, and 5,12,19 & 26 March to allow MPs to vote on different options for the Brexit withdrawal process.

  • Amendment (b) - Yvette Cooper

Amendment (b) was defeated 321 to 298, and would have made time for MPs to debate the EU Withdrawal (No. 3) Bill, which would call for Article 50 period to be extended if a deal is not agreed before 26 February.

  • Amendment (j) - Rachel Reeves

MPs voted against Rachel Reeves' Amendment (j) by 322 to 290. This amendment would have required the Government to request an extension to Article 50 if the Commons has not approved the deal by 26 February.

Final vote on the amended motion

The motion as amended by (i) and (n) was approved by the House of Commons without division. The Prime Minister subsequently said that the result indicated what Parliament would require to ratify a withdrawal agreement, and that she would return to the EU with this consensus.

Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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