MPs resumed the debate on the UK’s departure from the European Union on Wednesday following the original vote on the Brexit deal before Christmas being delayed. Rebel Conservative MPs joined forces with opposition parties for the second time in 24 hours to cause a fresh blow to the Government’s Brexit plans by dramatically reducing the amount of time the Government will have to come up with a ‘Plan B’ if the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament, as is widely expected.
Originally, the Government was expecting to have 21 days to reveal a ‘Plan B’, but now it will have just three days.
Number 10 reiterated the message that the Prime Minster’s deal is in the ‘national interest’, but said the government would “respond quickly” if MPs disagreed.
The Government lost by 11 votes, with 308 MPs voting against them.
The vote means that MPs will get to vote on alternative policies if the PM’s deal is rejected by the Commons, though the vote is not expected to have the force of law. The vote on the ‘Grieve amendment’ came as a surprise to many, with the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow facing criticism for allowing the amendment to be voted on.
While the amendment may not have the exact force of law, it could be of significant impact to Brexit if Mrs May’s deal is rejected next week.
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