MPs vote against Brexit alternatives but confirmatory vote still most popular

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons.

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons. - Credit: Archant

MPs have voted against the alternatives to Brexit in a series of indicative votes - but a confirmatory public vote once again came out ON top.

MPs voted by 280 votes in support of a confirmatory public vote, with 292 votes against, shrinking the difference from 27 votes last time.

It was followed by the proposal for a customs union, supported by 273 votes to 276 votes.

Common Market 2.0 received 261 votes to 282 votes, while a proposal for parlimentary supremacy received 280 votes to 292 votes.

After the results the Brexit secretary Steve Barclay said: 'This is now the second time the House has considered a wide variety of options for a way forward.

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'It has once again failed to find a clear majority for any of the options. And yet the result of the House on Friday not to endorse the withdrawal agreement means that the default legal position is that the UK will leave the EU in just 11 days' time.

'To secure any further extension the government will have to put forward a credible position to the EU on what we would do with the extra time.'

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was 'disappointing' that none of the options had won a majority.

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'But I remind the House the prime minister's unacceptable deal has been overwhelmingly rejected three times.

'The margin of defeat for one of the options tonight was very narrow indeed and the prime minister's deal has been rejected by very large margins on three occasions.

'If it is good enough for the prime minister to have three chances at her deal, then I suggest that possible the house should have a chance to consider again the options we had before us today in a debate on Wednesday so the house can succeed where the prime minister has failed in presenting a credible economic relationship with Europe for the future that prevents us crashing out with no deal.'

Best for Britain supporter David Lammy MP said that 'there are now 280 MPs who recognise that going back to the people is the way out of this constitutional crisis.'

'The wide range of Brexit options still being discussed shows why we're in this mess. The vote in 2016 was a statement of intent, but gave no indication of what form of Brexit to pursue. The reality is that every Brexit option makes the UK poorer and less influential in the world.

'The public has changed its mind. Before any form of Brexit is given the go-ahead, be it the Prime Minister's deal or another option, it's crucial the public are given the ability to confirm or reject it through a final say.'

Bridget Phillipson MP, leading supporter of the People's Vote campaign, said the confirmatory vote is 'continuing to gain momentum'.

'Parliament has also briefly examined whether alternative Brexit options might be better than the one the prime minister has so often proposed.

'Although there are merits in both a customs union and a Norway-style deal, both would be very far from what was promised in 2016

'We now need a longer extension to the Article 50 process so that we can kick the tyres of these proposals properly, as well as ensure any proposal carries the support of all those MPs like myself who want the public to have the final say.

'It would be a mistake for Parliament to impose any deal on the people, now that we know it cannot meet the expectations raised for Brexit. As such, a confirmatory referendum should not be judged as one option jostling for support in this crisis, but as a sensible compromise solution to this crisis.'

Brexiteer Nigel Farage tweeted 'nothing has changed'. He was quote-tweeting his own tweet from March 27, in which he had written: 'No majority for anything in parliament, but there is a majority in the country to leave the EU.'

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