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8 Brexit options British MPs will vote on today

Mar 27 2019 18:51
Robert Hutton and Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg

Having finally seized control of the Brexit process, at least for a day, British members of Parliament are setting out how they think things should move forward. They’ll vote on options - including keeping close ties to the bloc and a second referendum - from 7 p.m. London time, using paper ballots.

MPs will be able to vote for every option that they support, with the object of finding a solution that could get a majority. The result isn’t binding on the government - but Parliament could try to make it so, in subsequent moves.

There are two types of motion, those that focus on outcomes - what sort of relationship the U.K. should have with the European Union - and those that deal with process - the means of getting to that outcome.

Speaker John Bercow chose eight of the 16 proposed motions to be voted on. Here’s a summary of the motions, in the order listed by Parliament, including their identifiers in brackets:

No-Deal Brexit (B)

Proposes leaving the EU on April 12 without any kind of deal. This has been put forward by Conservative John Baron.

Common Market 2.0/Norway Plus (D)

The U.K. stays in the European Economic Area and rejoins the European Free Trade Association, giving it access to the EU single market. That’s Norway’s relationship. But this adds a “comprehensive customs arrangement” to it -- hence the “Norway Plus” moniker. It’s backed by Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and Lucy Powell, and Tories Nick Boles and Robert Halfon.

Norway Option (H)

Similar to motion (D) but without the customs union. The U.K. stays in the European Economic Area and rejoins the European Free Trade Association, giving it single-market access. Proposed by Tory MP George Eustice.

Customs Union (J)

Tory grandee Ken Clarke wants the U.K. to leave the EU having secured a permanent customs union with the bloc at a minimum.

Labour’s Brexit Plan (K)

The official Labour proposal, to back the Withdrawal Agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated, in return for her seeking a customs union with the EU, a close alignment with the single market, and a close relationship to other institutions.

No-Deal Emergency Brake (L)

A process amendment, this would require a confirmatory vote in Parliament if the U.K. got to within two days of a no-deal Brexit. Proposed by the Scottish National Party’s Joanna Cherry, it’s also backed by Tory Dominic Grieve and Liberal Democratic Party leader Vince Cable.

Second Referendum (M)

A process motion that says Parliament shouldn’t ratify or implement any withdrawal agreement until it has been approved in a referendum. In the name of Labour’s Margaret Beckett, as well as Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.

Malthouse Plan B (O)

This is the other part of the so-called Malthouse compromise, which says that if Plan A (see above) doesn’t work, the U.K. should seek a “standstill” agreement with the EU while a broader trade deal is negotiated. Tory Brexiteer Marcus Fysh has proposed it.

eu  |  uk  |  brexit  |  economy


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