The House of Commons will finally vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal tonight in what is known as the ‘meaningful vote’, which was originally set to take place in December before the Prime Minister delayed it at short notice.
Following five days of Brexit debate, in addition to the three days of last month, at 7pm today MPs will start voting on the four amendments that the Speaker selected this afternoon, then the divorce deal itself.
The government is widely expected to be heavily defeated on that final vote, but estimates range from as low as 50 to over 200. If the loss exceeds 89 votes, it will be the largest post-war defeat since 1979; if it exceeds 166 votes, it will be the largest “genuine” government defeat since 1918.
Despite being about to suffer a huge and historic defeat, it is anticipated that May will bring her deal back to the Commons “in much the same form with much the same content”, to use Geoffrey Cox’s words.
It is thought highly unlikely that the Prime Minister will step down, however damning the defeat, therefore Jeremy Corbyn may decide to table a motion of no confidence in the government after the meaningful vote. Labour has not confirmed its timing yet.