December 2018

The Prime Minister originally planned to hold a vote on a motion to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship, as required under the EU Withdrawal Act. At the start of the debate Tory MP Dominic Grieve amended the business motion to ensure any future motions moved under the EU Withdrawal Act would be amendable. After four days of debate, it was suspended and MPs didn’t vote on the deal.

January 15

The House of Commons voted against the PM’s Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202 – a historic defeat for the Government by 230 votes.

January 29

MPs voted on a motion to “consider” the PM’s January 21 statement on what happened next. They passed two amendments – one rejected leaving the EU without a deal which, although an expression of political will, does not change the legal default. The second was a vote for the PM’s deal provided “alternative arrangements” can be found for the Irish backstop.

February 14

MPs voted against a government motion, 303–258, after around 60 Conservative MPs abstained on the vote. The motion “reiterate[d]” its support for the approach to leaving the EU that MPs voted for on 29 January.

February 27

MPs passed a motion which “noted” the statement made by the PM on 26 February, as well as ongoing discussions with the EU.

March 12

MPs voted against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, again, 242–391. Defeat by 149 votes.

March 13

MPs voted on whether to leave the EU without a deal. An amendment was passed which replaced the text of the Government’s motion to reject leaving without a deal in all circumstances – removing the part of the motion which acknowledged that no deal is the default unless the UK and EU ratified an agreement.

As a result, the Government decided to whip against the amended motion rather than allow a free vote – in effect, voting in favour of no deal. The motion as amended passed 321–278, after a number of ministers including Scottish Secretary David Mundell abstained (and one resigned).

March 14

MPs approved the Government’s motion on extending Article 50 unamended 412–202 on a free vote.

The motion stated that if the House approved a deal by 20 March, then the Government would seek a “one-off extension” until 30 June to pass necessary legislation.

If the House didn’t approve a deal by that point, then the motion “notes” that there would need to be a clear purpose for an extension and going beyond 30 June would require the UK to hold European Parliament elections in May.