Almost all of the Brexit amendments backed by Labour were defeated by MPs tonight, as a combined total of 14 Labour MPs defied the party whip to vote against proposals put forward by Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves and Dominic Grieve.
Of the amendments Labour supported, only the Spelman/Dromey proposal – which expresses opposition to a ‘no deal’ outcome but is not legally binding – was approved by the Commons in the key votes.
Eight shadow ministers – Tracy Brabin, Judith Cummins, Gloria de Piero, Yvonne Fovargue, Mike Kane, Emma Lewell-Buck, Jim McMahon and Melanie Onn – were among those who broke the whip to abstain on the Cooper amendment, which aimed to extend Article 50 and avoid ‘no deal’ in March. It is unclear whether they will be disciplined.
After the results of the votes were announced, Jeremy Corbyn said he would agree to meet with the Prime Minister to set out the “points of view” of the Labour Party on Brexit.
The Labour leader said: “Tonight parliament has voted to remove the immediate threat of crashing out without a deal on 29 March. After months of refusing to take the chaos of no deal off the table, the Prime Minister must now face the reality that no deal is not an option.
“I will meet the Prime Minister and others from across parliament to find a sensible Brexit solution that works for the whole country.
“That solution should be based around Labour’s alternative plan of a customs union with a UK say, a strong single market relationship and a cast iron guarantee on workers’ rights, consumer standards and environmental protections.”
Theresa May is now expected to return to Brussels to argue that her deal won’t be approved by the Commons without changes to the ‘backstop’. EU leaders, including Emmanuel Macron and Leo Varadkar, have already made it clear that the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.
Amendment vote results
Ayes 296 – Noes 327
Ayes 39 – Noes 327
Ayes 301 – Noes 321
Ayes 298 – Noes 321
Ayes 290 – Noes 322
Ayes 318 – Noes 310
Ayes 317 – Noes 301
Voted against Labour’s official amendment:
Kevin Barron and Jim Fitzpatrick.
Voted against the Grieve amendment and the Cooper amendment:
Ian Austin, Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Rosie Cooper, Jim Fitzpatrick, Caroline Flint, Roger Godsiff, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, John Mann, Dennis Skinner, Laura Smith, Gareth Snell and Graham Stringer.
Voted against the Reeves amendment:
Ian Austin, Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Rosie Cooper, Jim Fitzpatrick, Caroline Flint, Roger Godsiff, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, John Mann, Laura Smith, Gareth Snell and Graham Stringer.
Voted with the government for the Brady amendment:
Ian Austin, Kevin Barron, Jim Fitzpatrick, Roger Godsiff, Kate Hoey, John Mann and Graham Stringer.