Parliament is expected to reject the PM’s ‘meaningful vote’ tomorrow – here’s what happens if they do
MPs will tomorrow be asked to have their say on Theresa May’s ‘meaningful vote’ – after fears they would reject the deal just a month ago.
With little different in the deal this time round, it seems unlikely Parliament will back the terms. Here’s what happens if May loses.
Theresa May has warned MPs that no Brexit at all is more likely than a no deal.
A no deal is widely thought to be the worst possible option, meaning the UK would have to cut ties with the European Union overnight without a transition period.
In this scenario, businesses would lose their passporting rights, which allow them to sell their services across the EU without having to obtain licences in each individual country.
A no deal would also see residency rights for EU nationals in the UK potentially disappear overnight.
It would also lead to huge uncertainty over what would happen at the 310 mile border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
In terms of parliamentary procedure, the European Union Withdrawal Act sets out the next steps should Parliament reject the Government’s Brexit deal.
However, because of the delayed vote, MPs have passed an amendment which will force the PM to return to Parliament with a fresh plan within three days if her deal is rejected.
But it remains to be seen whether MPs can form a cohesive solution to Brexit, with no specific outcome favoured by the majority of MPs.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has raised the possibility of calling a General Election.
Speaking ahead of the ‘meaningful vote’ in Wakefield, Yorkshire, he said: “Let there be no doubt: Theresa May’s deal is a bad deal and Labour will vote against it next week in Parliament.
“If the Government cannot pass its most important legislation then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity.”
But Corbyn has been vague about the timings of this proposed election.
Nearly a million people marched in support of a ‘People’s Vote’, campaigning for a second referendum to be held on Brexit.
But both the Conservatives and opposition party Labour have all-but ruled out the possibility of another vote.
We say “all but”, because just about anything could happen right now.
Chuka Umunna, Anna Soubry, Layla Moran and Caroline Lucas are among the MPs who have been vocal in their support.
And even Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said she can see a “plausible argument” for a People’s Vote on Brexit if Parliament fails to reach a consensus.
May has survived a vote of no confidence from her own party, meaning she cannot be challenged for another three years by her colleagues.
However, Labour could call a vote of no confidence in the Government – which leader Jeremy Corbyn has threatened to do.
The Leader of the Opposition would have to table a motion that “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”.
MPs then vote, with a simple majority needed to succeed.
On the Andrew Marr show, Corbyn promised that Labour would call a no confidence motion “soon”, but has refused to comment on whether that would be as a reaction to May’s Brexit plan.