The government has been defeated for a 2nd time in as many days as MPs voted to back the Grieve amendment.
MPs have voted by 308 votes to 297, a majority of 11.
The amendment forces the PM to hold a vote, within 3 days of May’s deal be voted down, on what course the UK takes for securing a deal with the EU.
Many Tory hard Brexiteers were angry that the amendment was voted on at all.
MPs are expected to reject the proposed withdrawal agreement on 15th January, prompting fears of Britain crashing out of the EU without an agreement.
Tory rebel Heidi Allen said that “We will not allow the clock to be run down to ‘no deal’,”
Last night Parliament did more damage to May by voting for the Cooper amendment on the finance bill.
MPs voted by 303 to 296 in favour of an amendment to the finance bill tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper to curb some of the government’s tax administration powers in the event of no deal without explicit authorisation for parliament.
The vote is even more significant because 20 Tories rebelled against the whip to vote with Labour signally that they would do similar in a Vote of No Confidence to stop a No deal.
In attempts to win support for her deal, the PM has announced that MPs would get a final say on whether a backstop solution for the Irish border would ever be put in place. The backstop, which the UK cannot withdraw from without consent from the EU, is one of the reasons many MPs refuse to vote for May’s deal.
Theresa May also attempted to appease her former allies in the DUP with a “Stormont lock”. This would give the Northern Irish Assembly a VETO over any proposed EU laws and policy while they are in regulatory alignment while in the backstop. Sammy Wilson, the DUP Brexit spokesman described this offer as “window dressing”.
Following the lack of progress in changing the deal, Jeremy Corbyn asked:
“Isn’t the PM bringing back exactly the same deal she admitted would be defeated four weeks ago?”
Corbyn has pledged to vote against May’s deal and was stated that the PM should rule out No Deal backing an alternative Brexit deal involving a customs union with the EU.
Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief
The amendment is another one designed to stop a no deal Brexit that Parliament is rightfully hostile to. However, this one will help stop a No Deal in a more practical and real way than Cooper’s amendment last night.
The amendment reduces the chance of a No Deal but also of other scenarios like a general election or second referendum on Brexit.
While the amendment does not explicitly state a new Brexit deal must be voted on this is what most MPs will want to happen with many already having alternative solutions to the current impasse. Labour should see this as an opportunity to try and get their own deal into place but any hopeful alternative must be accepted by the EU which is not a certainty considering the noises coming out of Brussels recently.
Ironically May has been trying hard to delay a vote of no confidence all winter and while she opposed this motion the amendment might just stop Labour calling a vote of no confidence straight after she loses the vote on her deal. Even if it is just for another few days while another deal is being sorted.