What do the latest Brexit amendments tabled by MPs all mean?
PUBLISHED: 07:43 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:43 27 February 2019
The House of Commons will vote on a series of amendments to the government motion on Wednesday evening ahead of another “meaningful vote” on Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement next month.
It will be down to Speaker John Bercow which proposals are selected for a vote.
Any successful amendments will not have the force of law but will carry heavy political weight as a signal to Downing Street and Brussels of what kind of Brexit MPs are likely to approve.
These are the key amendments:
Labour former minister Yvette Cooper will table an amendment seeking to pin the Prime Minister down to the commitments she made to the Commons on Tuesday.
May offered MPs a chance to vote to delay Brexit if her deal is rejected again next month, in a move which closely matched demands put forward in a plan by Ms Cooper and Tory Sir Oliver Letwin.
While Sir Oliver said there was now “no need” for the Cooper-Letwin Bill, Cooper said she would lay a cross-party amendment to secure confirmation of the Prime Minister’s commitment.
Tory backbencher Alberto Costa is demanding May seeks a treaty on citizens’ rights after Brexit.
His amendment, which has the backing of around 60 Conservatives, calls for a separate agreement with the European Union to protect the rights of expats even if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Labour is also expected to support the amendment.
Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour’s Jack Dromey, who last month tabled a successful amendment opposing a no-deal Brexit, will table an amendment to “pave the way” for the Cooper/Letwin Bill to give MPs the opportunity to extend Article 50.
The pair said they would seek assurances from ministers to to secure confirmation of the Prime Minister’s commitments during the debate on Wednesday.
They said if they receive the assurances they will not push the amendments to a vote.
Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment will seek support for his party’s five Brexit demands.
The party is calling for a permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU; dynamic alignment on rights and protections, and commitments on participation in EU agencies and funding programmes.
It is also seeking “unambiguous” agreements on the detail of future security arrangements and close alignment with the single market.
MPs from The Independent Group (TIG), along with support from the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, have tabled an amendment to pave the way for a second referendum.
It would instruct the Prime Minister to table a motion for debate and a decision before March 8, setting out the steps necessary for preparing a public vote on whether to leave the EU on terms agreed by Parliament or remain a member.
TIG member Chris Leslie said the amendment would require May to “take the steps needed now so the public could take control and break through the Brexit gridlock”.
The SNP’s amendment requires the PM to immediately rule out a no-deal Brexit “under any and all circumstances” and regardless of exit date.
The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Parliament must take control and “force the UK Government to do the right thing by immediately ruling out a no-deal Brexit under any and all circumstances”.