Following Theresa May's Defeat, MP's Will Vote on No Deal Brexit

  • img Courtney Kremler
  • POSTED ON 13 Mar 2019
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Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected on Tuesday evening in the Commons by 149 votes. On Wednesday the conservative MP’s will be given a free vote, meaning that MP’s can vote based on their conscience and not following orders of party managers, to determine whether or not they agree with the UK leaving the EU on March 29th with no deal. The no deal debate on Wednesday will follow Chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Statement and Prime Ministers questions. The MPs will be voting on the government motion, which states: "This House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework on the future relationship on 29 March."

If the no deal vote Wednesday evening is rejected, MP’s will have to vote on Thursday to decide whether to delay Brexit by extending Article 50 (which is the legal mechanism of the UK leaving the EU). However, the default option for the UK under its current law is to leave the EU in 16 days time, as the EU would need a clear reason for extending the article.

Plans for the no deal Brexit include cutting tarrifs and maintaining a tension-free border with Ireland. 87% of imports would be eligible for zero tariff, with only some tariffs still being applied to protect industries like agriculutre. The government has also announced there will be no new checks or controls, and no requirement for customs declarations for goods moving from across the border from Ireland to Northern Ireland. However, that decision is temporary. 

The EU is very upset about the vote from Tuesday evening and find it very important to have plans in case of a no deal Brexit. However, Labour Party does not want a no deal Brexit to be an option, and would like to continue to push its alternative Brexit proposals. 

The cabinet is very much divided on what they think Theresa May will/should do to alleviate the situation. Tory Remainers and Brexiteers, including Dominic Grieve and Boris Johnson, are saying that new options need to be inquired about. There is also a new amendment being discussed by the European Research Group of Conservative MP’s that has the UK leaving with no formal agreement and replacing the backstop with alternative arrangements until 2021. Steve Baker, the organisation's vice-chairman, told BBC News that the proposal was reasonable and supported by the Democratic Unionists and former Remain ministers like Nicky Morgan and Damian Green. Nick Boles, Tory former minister, said this would amount to a no deal exit and the EU would not agree to it.