Latest: MPs have given no majority to any of the 8 Brexit options; DUP won't back deal

Latest: MPs have given no majority to any of the 8 Brexit options; DUP won't back deal
British Prime Minister Theresa May taking questions during Prime Ministers Question Time (PMQ's) in the British House of Commons at Westminster, central London, Britain, 27 March 2019. Picture: EPA/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT.

MPs have voted tonight on eight possible Brexit options after Parliament seized control of the Commons agenda.

The MPs could vote yes or no or abstain from voting for each of the options.

Update 9.43pm

MPs have given no majority to any of the eight Brexit alternatives considered on day one of the indicative vote process.

The votes were as follows:

Motion B) No deal –

Yes: 160

No: 400

(Majority: 240)

Motion D) Common market 2.0 –

Yes: 188


(Majority: 95)

Motion H) Efta and EEA –

Yes: 65

No: 377

(Majority: 312)

Motion J) Customs union –

Yes: 264

No: 272

(Majority: 8)

Motion K) Labour’s alternative plan –

Yes: 237

No: 307

(Majority: 70)

Motion L) Revocation to avoid no-deal –


No: 293

(Majority: 109)

Motion M) Confirmatory public vote –

Yes: 268

No: 295

(Majority: 27)

Motion O) Contingent preferential arrangements –

Yes: 139

No: 422

Majority: 283

Update 9.24pm

MPs have voted in favour of regulations linked to changing the exit date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU from March 29 by 441 votes to 105, majority 336. Speaker John Bercow has suspended the sitting of the Commons until the results of the indicative votes are available.

441 - Yes

105- No

Majority 336

Update 8.48pm: DUP ‘unable to support Withdrawal Agreement’ and ‘warned government against backstop’ from the start

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said her party regrets it is unable to support the Withdrawal Agreement.

She paid tribute to Theresa May and her team, but said the Withdrawal Agreement still doesn't deal with the backstop issue.

In a statement, Ms Foster said: “Given the necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured between the Government and the European Union, and the remaining and ongoing strategic risk that Northern Ireland would be trapped in backstop arrangements at the end of the implementation period, we will not be supporting the Government if they table a fresh meaningful vote.”

“The backstop if operational has the potential to create an internal trade border within the United Kingdom and would cut us off from our main internal market, being Great Britain.

“We want to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from, and our future relationship with, the European Union on terms that accord with our key objectives to ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“In our view the current withdrawal agreement does not do so and the backstop, which we warned this Government against from its first inception, poses an unacceptable threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom and will inevitably limit the United Kingdom’s ability to negotiate on the type of future relationship with the EU.”

Acknowledging the importance of Brexit, Ms Foster added however that: "The most important thing for me, for the DUP and for our 10 MPs is the preservation of the Union.

Asked about the pressure on the DUP to back the deal, Arlene Foster told Sky News: “I don’t think it’s a case of rescuing Brexit because we very much want to see Brexit happening, we believe in Brexit, we believe in the opportunities that are there post-Brexit.

“We wish we were able to spend more time talking about the global opportunities that we believe are there for the nation post-Brexit.

“But instead we have become bogged down in a process, but that process has a Withdrawal Agreement with a backstop that will cause damage to the UK, and for us that is the critical point.”

Pinning the blame on Theresa May, she said: “Now we are in a situation where we cannot sign up to the Withdrawal Agreement and it’s all because the Prime Minister decided to go for that backstop way back in December 2017.”

The DUP leader said that although Brexit was “incredibly important” to her, “it’s not the most important issue”.

“The most important issue for me, for the Democratic Unionist Party, for our 10 MPs, is the preservation of the union,” she said.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has tweeted that it is “possible” Brexit can be prevented.

The Scottish First Minister wrote: “The first preference of @theSNP has always been to stop Brexit.

“If that’s not possible – and until relatively recently it seemed it wasn’t – we’d opt for soft Brexit over hard.

“But stopping Brexit is possible now and we voted tonight to give that the best chance.”

Update 8.28pm

Shadow Housing Minister Melanie Onn has quit after Labour MPs were told to back a call for any Brexit deal in this parliament to be put to a public vote.

The Great Grimbsy MP has been a vocal opponent of a second referendum.

Update 7:58pm

The UK government has tabled a sittings motion for tomorrow, so that if passed, the House of Commons can sit on Friday.

Update 7.39pm

The Commons has resumed as the indicative voting process has ended. Votes are being counted while MPs are debating changing the formal date for Brexit from 11.00pm on March 29 to either April 12 or May 22. It depends on if MPs approve the PM's withdrawal agreement.

Nigel Farage has said that despite the PM's proposed decision to step down, her deal is a “bad treaty” and compared it to the Treaty of Versailles.

He tweeted: “Even if Mrs May goes, it is a bad treaty that will give us years of acrimony. A modern day versailles.”

Update 7.32pm

Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees Mogg says he will back PM brexit deal if the DUP abstains. He said MPs should have instead opted for a vote of no confidence and let the public have a general election.

He told the BBC: “This is constitutionally absurd that people who have voted to take control of proceedings in the house basically don’t have any confidence in the Government but don’t have the courage to say so in a formal vote and they are doing it in an under-the-table fashion.”

“It makes a minority Government extraordinarily difficult and it doesn’t make the governance of this country any better."

Mr Rees-Mogg added that he “preferred leaving without a deal” but backed the Prime Minister after that was ruled out.

“I think a considerable amount depends on the DUP and what it decides to do.

“I won’t abandon the DUP because I think they are the champions of the union of the United Kingdom, which is a very important part of Conservative philosophy and thinking.”

The deal has a “good chance of getting through” if the DUP back it or abstain, he said.

A Sky New poll shows that 44% of people think that MPs should reject the option of a no-deal brexit, while 35% think they should support it.

According to excerpts released by Downing Street, Mrs May told the 1922 Committee: “I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party. I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.

“I know some people are worried that if you vote for the Withdrawal Agreement, I will take that as a mandate to rush on into phase two without the debate we need to have. I won’t – I hear what you are saying."

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter: "Theresa May’s pledge to Tory MPs to stand down if they vote for her deal shows once and for all that her chaotic Brexit negotiations have been about party management, not principles or the public interest.

A change of government can't be a Tory stitch-up, the people must decide."

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said Theresa May’s address to the 1922 Committee was “very personal”.

He told the BBC: “Whilst the Prime Minister has given her indication tonight as to her long-term position, ultimately we have to deal with the here and now which she was so clear on, on getting behind the deal, making Brexit happen, get the vote through this place and move on for the country.”

Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan tweeted: "I don't care what her critics say about my view - I have massive admiration for Theresa May's fortitude and sense of duty. How has she managed to go through every day taking so much flak from less decent people?"

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