What is up for discussion ahead of Super Tuesday?

PUBLISHED: 11:12 06 June 2018

Houses of Parliament
Photo: PA / Tim Ireland

Houses of Parliament Photo: PA / Tim Ireland

PA Wire/PA Images

Next Tuesday there will be an almighty Brexit showdown in the House of Commons.

During a marathon 12-hour session the government hopes to fend off the amendments to the Brexit Bill that have been sent back from the House of Lords.

Following the unveiling of Labour’s new position on UK-EU relations after Brexit, what are the options under discussion ahead of the crunch Commons votes on June 12?

The government’s position

Britain should withdraw from the European single market and customs union, to enable it to strike new trade deals around the world. It should forge a new “deep and special partnership” with the EU27, with free trade and close security links.

Who supports it? Theresa May and a large majority of Conservative MPs, along with some Labour rebels.

The Labour position

Labour wants Britain to remain in “a customs union” with the EU after Brexit, to ensure tariff-free access and frictionless trade with the remaining 27 members. Jeremy Corbyn’s new policy would also make “full access” to the EU internal market an objective in Brexit negotiations.

Who supports it? Labour’s leadership, including Mr Corbyn and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, who are expected to be backed by most of the party’s MPs.

The ‘soft Brexit’ option

Keeping Britain inside the customs union and the single market, to maintain the closest possible ties with the EU. Amendments passed by the House of Lords, and due for an MPs’ vote next Tuesday, would require the Government to try to negotiate a customs union and continued membership - alongside non-EU countries like Norway - of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Who supports it? A majority of peers, along with europhile MPs from all parties linked to the Open Britain campaign, such as Tory former minister Anna Soubry. A substantial number of Labour MPs, including Chuka Umunna, believe the party should back the cross-party Lords amendments, despite orders from the leadership to abstain in the EEA vote.

The ‘Exit from Brexit’ option

Offering voters the opportunity to reverse their decision to leave the European Union.

Who supports it? This is the official policy of the Liberal Democrats and the favoured outcome of the Best for Britain pressure group and the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The ‘No Deal’ option

Britain leaves the EU without any agreement on future relations, and trades on World Trade Organisation terms.

Who supports it? Only a relatively small number of committed eurosceptics in Parliament regard this as their preferred result, but many MPs - particularly on the Tory benches - believe the Government should be preparing for the possibility of a “no deal” exit in order to strengthen the UK’s hand in negotiations with Brussels.

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