A series of indicative votes in the House of Commons has found that no alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit plan has been found, but a second vote won over the most MPs.
A total of 268 MPs voted for a confirmatory second referendum, with 295 voting against, giving it the most support in the House of Commons out of all of the options.
It narrowly beat the option of a Customs Union which received 264 votes with 272 MPs voting against.
Both options were more popular than Theresa May’s Brexit deal which won over just 242 MPs in the second meaningful vote.
Labour’s alternative Brexit plan was the third most popular option with 237 votes (with 307 votes against), Common Market 2.0 had 188 votes (with 283 votes against), and revocation of Article 50 had 184 votes (with 293 votes against).
A no-deal Brexit had just 160 votes (with 400 votes against) and the Malthouse Plan B gained just 139 votes (with 422 votes against).
Brexit secretary Steve Barclay said, with no majority for any of the options, MPs should now back May’s deal ‘in the national interest’.
He said: ‘The results of the process this House has gone through today strengthens our view that the deal the Government has negotiated is the best option.
‘If you believe in delivering on the referendum result by leaving the EU with a deal, then it’s necessary to back the Withdrawal Agreement – if we do not do that, then there are no guarantees about where this process will end.
‘It’s for that reason that I call on all members from across this House in the national interest to back the Prime Minister’s deal.’
But Best for Britain supporter Jo Stevens MP pointed to the support for the People’s Vote support and said it is the ‘start of a process that will take time’.
‘Tonight’s indicative vote highlights the growing realisation among MPs that the people can provide a solution to the current Brexit mess – mirroring the shift we’ve seen in the country over the past three years.
‘A confirmatory public vote received the most votes tonight, and more than the prime minister’s deal. Parliament should now move to make this the UK’s Brexit policy moving forward.’
Tom Watson MP, the deputy leader of the Labour Party and a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: ‘Parliament has finally begun to confront the painful choices that need to be made about Brexit.
‘As an MP for a constituency that voted Leave in 2016, I have come to realise that the reality of Brexit will make many British people deeply disappointed and disillusioned.
‘I’m proud that the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs have tonight joined together with those from all sides to back compromise proposals for a confirmatory public vote on the final deal.
‘The majority of MPs and the British people do not want the Prime Minister’s broken Brexit deal. Nor do either the public or Parliament back crashing out of the EU without a deal. Tonight has shown there is growing support for our compromise solution and that any new way forward will require enough time to be properly negotiated and scrutinised.
‘When this parliament has finally made a decision on what Brexit means, I am hopeful that a majority will emerge for any final proposal to be put to a vote, not only by MPs, but also by the people.’
Another series of indicative votes is expected on Monday – but a third meaningful vote could be held in the meantime.