The Meaningful Vote - 12th March 2019
As I have previously said, Brexit is a fluid situation that is changing hourly and I am committed to updating you as reguarly as possible. Earlier today, I published an article outlining where we stand and my position as we move forward into this weeks votes.
Since then, there have been whispers circulating that the Prime Minister may, once again, delay the meaningful vote. It has been rumoured that the Prime Minister is planning to replace her meaningful vote with a motion setting out the kind of Brexit deal that would be accepted by Parliament.
This vote would then be used as an attempt to convince Brussels that a deal would be passed by Parliament, if the EU agreed to the requested concessions by the government.
The Prime Minister made a clear commitment to parliament, on the 26th of February, that a second meaningful vote would be held by the 12th of March. If she does not honour this commitment she risks losing the confidence of the House of Commons. The commitment the Prime Minister made can be seen below:
“I know Members across the House are genuinely worried that time is running out—that if the Government do not come back with a further meaningful vote, or they lose that vote, Parliament will not have time to make its voice heard on the next steps. I know too that Members across the House are deeply concerned by the effect of the current uncertainty on businesses. So today I want to reassure the House by making three further commitments. First, we will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest.”
“Secondly, if the Government have not won a meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March, then they will, in addition to their obligations to table a neutral, amendable motion under section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, table a motion to be voted on by Wednesday 13 March, at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for a future relationship on 29 March. So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome.
Thirdly, if the House, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short, limited extension to article 50, and, if the House votes for an extension, seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date commensurate with that extension. These commitments all fit the timescale set out in the private Member’s Bill in the name of the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper). They are commitments I am making as Prime Minister, and I will stick by them, as I have previous commitments to make statements and table amendable motions by specific dates.”
In addition to this, the Prime Minister voted in favour of the Cooper amendment which reiterated the statement made by herself -
"to hold a second meaningful vote by 12 March and if the house, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short limited extension to Article 50, and if the House votes for an extension, seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit state and commensurate with that extension."
Even though the amendment was not binding in the same way as an Act of Parliament, it was nonetheless an expression of the will of the House which the Prime Minister and government voted in favour of.
Promoted by Heidi Allen, Suite 1 & 2, Broadway House, 149-151 St Neots Road, Hardwick, Cambridgeshire CB23 7QJ