A series of indicative votes were put to MPs in a bid to establish what kind of Brexit scenario might secure a majority in Parliament. But MPs voted against all of the proposals. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay insisted MPs must now back Theresa May’s divorce deal “in the national interest”.
Mr Barclay 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.”
An hour before the vote, Mrs May sensationally announced she would resign once her Brexit deal is over the line.
She told MPs: “I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”
The move has set the stage for the Prime Minister to bring her divorce deal back for a third vote tomorrow or Friday.
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The Prime Minister smiled when the results were announced
10.45pm update: EU diplomat says no deal “really could happen”
An EU diplomat told Express.co.uk: “The meaningful vote won’t go anywhere. No deal really could happen. If so, I fear we can’t rebuild relations over all the acrimony but perhaps it’s time for this to end.”
10.40pm update: Farage warns of “backlash from voters”
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said politicians could face “a massive backlash from voters” in the wake of the indicative votes in the Commons.
He tweeted: “No majority for anything in Parliament, but there is a majority in the country to leave the EU.
“Our politicians must stop trying to undo our vote or face a massive backlash from voters.”
9.45pm update: MPs reject all eight Brexit alternative plans
Motion B) No deal – defeated by 400 votes to 160, majority 240.
Motion D) Common market 2.0 – defeated by 283 votes to 188, majority 95.
Motion H) Efta and EEA – defeated by 377 votes to 65, majority 312.
Motion J) Customs union – defeated by 272 votes to 264, majority eight.
Motion K) Labour’s alternative plan – defeated by 307 votes to 237, majority 70.
Motion L) Revocation to avoid no-deal – defeated by 293 votes to 184, majority 109.
Motion M) Confirmatory public vote – defeated by 295 voted to 268, majority 27.
Motion O) Contingent preferential arrangements – defeated by 422 votes to 139, majority 283.
MPs have not given a majority to any of the proposals
9.20pm update: MPs vote to change Brexit date from March 29
MPs have voted in favour of regulations linked to changing the exit date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU from March 29 by 441 votes to 105, a majority 336.
Speaker John Bercow has suspended the sitting of the Commons until the results of the indicative votes are available.
8.25pm update: Labour shadow minister resigns
Melanie Onn has quit as shadow housing minister after Labour MPs were instructed to back a call for any Brexit deal passed by Parliament to be put to a public vote.
The Great Grimbsy MP has been a vocal opponent of a second referendum.
Steve Barclay insisted MPs must now back Theresa May’s deal “in the national interest”
7.45pm: Jacob Rees-Mogg says indicative votes set a “very bad constitutional precedent”
He said MPs should have instead opted for a vote of no confidence and let the public have a general election.
Mr Rees-Mogg told the BBC: “This is constitutionally absurd that people who have voted to take control of proceedings in the house basically don’t have any confidence in the Government but don’t have the courage to say so in a formal vote and they are doing it in an under-the-table fashion.
“It makes a minority Government extraordinarily difficult and it doesn’t make the governance of this country any better.”
7.35pm update: Voting on the eight different Brexit options has finished.
The results will be announced later tonight.
7.30pm update: MPs have started sharing their voting intentions on social media
Michael Fabricant shared his voting intentions for the indicative votes on Twitter.
According to the photo of his voting paper, Mr Fabricant selected ‘aye’ for motion B (no deal) and O (contingent preferential arrangements), with ‘no’ for D (on the Common market), H (on the EFTA and EEA), I (on the customs union), K (on Labour’s alternative plan), L (on a revocation to avoid no deal) and M (on a confirmatory public vote).
Meanwhile SNP’s Alan Brown revealed he is backing motions L and M while opposing motion B on no deal.
MPs voted on eight Brexit alternatives
7pm update: MPs start voting on Brexit outcomes
MPs are now casting their votes on the eight possible Brexit scenarios.
It comes an hour after the Prime Minister sensationally announced she would stand down once her divorce deal is over the line.
6.45pm update: Where’s the smart money?
Ladbrokes bookmakers believe Motion D – a Common Market 2.0 – is the most likely option to receive the most votes tonight.
Also favourites are the EEA, Customs Union and Labour’s plan, also priced at 4/1 or shorter.
Slightly more unlike is another referendum at 12/1, preferential arrangements at 20/1 and revoking article 50 in case of no-deal at 33/1.
The rank outsider to receive the most ‘yes’ votes is no deal, which is 100/1.
5.30pm update: Brexit Secretary criticises eight amendments
Stephen Barclay said none of the motions brought forward delivered the same benefits as the Prime Minister’s deal, which he insisted remains the best option.
Mr Barclay said: “What we see from the amendments before the house is a range of sub-optimal solutions which either don’t deliver on the referendum result or do so in a way that doesn’t deliver the benefits of the Prime Minister’s deal.
“That is why the Prime Minister’s deal remains the best way of meeting the biggest vote in our history, delivering on that referendum result, and doing so in a way that is best for protecting business.”
Theresa May pictured outside the Houses of Parliament tonight
5pm update: What is being voted on?
B) No deal on April 12, moved by Conservative MP John Baron.
D) UK membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA), tabled by Tory Nick Bowles
H) Staying in the EEA and rejoining EFTA, but remaining outside a customs union with the EU, by Tory MP George Eustice.
J) A “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU” in any Brexit deal, by Conservative veteran Ken Clarke.
K) Labour’s Brexit plan for a close relationship with the bloc, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn.
L) Revocation of Article 50 to avoid a no deal Brexit, by SNP MP Joanna Cherry.
M) Public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by Parliament, moved by Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett.
O) Preferential trade arrangements with the EU, tabled by Tory MP Marcus Fysh.