News | Published October 21 2019

Government to push for deal vote today

The government has called for a “straight up-and-down vote” on the prime minister’s Brexit deal today. 

Following Saturday’s session, in which MPs voted for the Letwin amendment which forced Boris Johnson to send an extension letter to the EU, No.10 has announced they will seek a simple yes or no vote on the deal.

Arguing that “We cannot allow Parliament’s letter to lead to Parliament’s delay”, the government will attempt to hold a meaningful vote for a second time. 

It is up to the Speaker, John Bercow, to decide whether this vote will be allowed. His decision is not yet clear but it is doubtful he will allow it as it may constitute debating the same matter twice.

The Letwin amendment, which was passed by 322 votes to 306, means Johnson’s deal cannot be approved by parliament until all the legislation to implement it has been passed. 

The motivation behind this amendment was to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal if necessary legislation was voted down in parliament.

Amendments can be added to this legislation with two possible outcomes being the addition of a confirmatory referendum or an amendment which forced the UK to stay within the customs union. 

Before these amendments can be added, the government wants MPs to decide on the outline of the deal. Were this to happen, the amendment process would be weakened as MPs could have already announced their support for Johnson's deal. 

A decision is expected by 2:30 this afternoon. 

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
October 21 2019

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