MPs have voted to instruct the government to avoid a no-deal Brexit in any circumstance after voting for an amendment tabled by Dame Caroline Spellman, Jack Dromney and Yvette Cooper.
Despite Spellman indicating to the speaker she did not wish to move the move, Cooper indicated she did want to continue with a vote.
Consequently politicians voted in support of the motion by 312 votes to 308.
But confusion reigned as the government was then forced to whip MPs against their motion after the amendment was passed. It still passed by 278 votes to 321 votes with 17 Tory MPs still supporting it and 11 ministers abstaining.
Best for Britain supporter Rupa Huq MP said: ‘This is another significant rejection of the no-deal disaster option which would decimate industry, costing thousands of jobs up and down the country, and cripple key public services.
‘Only a small faction of Brexit extremists in the Tory party ever wanted no deal. Poll after poll has shown that a no deal Brexit is unpopular with the country and tonight Parliament have confirmed last month’s rejection of it.
‘It’s now time for MPs to take the next step and vote to extend Article 50 so that we have time for the only credible route out of this Brexit mess – a public vote.’
Former deputy leader of the House of Commons and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, Chris Bryant MP, said: ‘Tonight, MPs have once again shown there is no majority for a no-deal Brexit – and no appetite for the kind of brinkmanship that the government has attempted to use to shore up backing for its proposed deal.
‘It’s becoming clearer every day that parliament does have a clear view – against the so-called deal, against a chaotic no-deal exit, against another stitch up and tomorrow parliament will have the opportunity to underline that position by supporting an extension of the Brexit deadline. The length of this is less important than the purpose, which must be to show both the country and the EU that we want to provide the clarity that has been sorely lacking in these tortuous two-and-a-half years of vexed negotiations. Instead of pretending, as advocates of different Brexit options still do, that we can negotiate a deal which delivers the benefits of EU membership while being free to choose which rules to follow, we now need to give such schemes the sober and forensic analysis they deserve.’
An amendment proposing the so-called ‘Malthouse compromise’ with an extension to Article 50 until May 22nd was voted down by 374 votes to 164 votes.
Tomorrow MPs are expected to vote on whether or not to extend Article 50 to June 30th to avoid crashing out of the European Union on March 29th.
Earlier in the European parliament, Nigel Farage called on EU officials to block any request to extend Article 50, making a mockery of his concerns for parliamentary sovereignty.