Further Indicative Votes in Parliament

On Friday 29 March 2019 the Opposition voted down the Government’s attempt to force through their failed Brexit plan by separating the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. Both the Prime Minister and the EU have said before that these two documents cannot be separated. Pushing through the Withdrawal Agreement without any certainty over our future relationship with the EU would be an unacceptable risk to jobs, rights and the economy. The Opposition will not take that risk and will not leave the terms of our future relationship to be decided by the outcome of a Conservative leadership contest. The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by 58 votes (Ayes: 286, Noes: 344).

On 1 April 2019 there was the second round of indicative votes in the House of Commons, the continuation of a process started on 27 March 2019. This was a business motion that enabled Parliament to have a voice on different options and to seek consensus. The Prime Minister has said that she wants to hear the voice of Parliament, however the Government whipped its MPs to oppose the motion. The Government were defeated by 45 votes (Ayes: 322, Noes 277) and the motion passed.

This was a new process for Parliament, indicative votes are a means of testing the will of the House of Commons on different options. After each motion was debated the House was suspended from 7-7.30pm whilst MPs voted on ballot paper in the lobbies of the House. At 10pm the Speaker announced the results of the indicative votes.

Here is how I voted on 1 April 2019:

Motion C – Kenneth Clark MP

Customs Union with EU. I voted For (subject to Motion E, a confirmatory referendum).

The motion was defeated by 3 votes. (Ayes: 273, Noes: 276)

Motion D – Nick Boles MP

Known as Common Market 2.0. I voted For (subject to Motion E, a confirmatory referendum).

The motion was defeated by 21 votes. (Ayes: 261, Noes: 282)

Motion EPeter Kyle MP

Confirmatory public vote on any deal. I voted For.

The motion was defeated by 12 votes. (Ayes: 280, Noes: 292)

Motion GJoanna Cherry MP

Giving Parliament the power to avoid no-deal by cancelling Brexit if no extension to Article 50 was granted by the EU by 12 April 2019. I Abstained.

The motion was defeated by 101 votes (Ayes: 191, Noes: 292).

None of the motions gained a majority in the House. In a dramatic moment Nick Boles MP resigned the Conservative whip owing to the Government’s refusal to find alternatives to the discredited Withdrawal Agreement.