The House of Commons has again rejected all of the proposed alternatives to Theresa May’s deal in the latest round of ‘indicative’ votes on Brexit options.
Reflecting the same pattern as the votes held last week, the motion for another referendum received the most votes but the motion for customs union membership had the slimmest defeat, being rejected by just three votes.
Labour whipped MPs to vote for motions (C), (D) and (E) on a customs union, Common Market 2.0 and a confirmatory public vote respectively. The party issued a recommendation to abstain on the Cherry motion for extension or revocation of Article 50, though it was technically a free vote.
Responding at the despatch box tonight, Jeremy Corbyn described the results as “disappointing”, but pointed out that Theresa May’s deal had been heavily rejected three times whereas the customs union motion was only defeated by three votes.
“The margin of defeat for one of the options tonight was very narrow indeed and the Prime Minister’s deal has been rejected by very large majorities on three occasions,” the Labour leader said. “If it is good enough for the Prime Minister to have three chances at her deal then I suggest that possibly the House should have a chance to consider again the options that we had before us today.”
Nick Boles, the Conservative MP who tabled the motion for a Norway-style Brexit known as Common Market 2.0, resigned the Tory whip on the floor of the House and walked out of the chamber. He said: “I accept I have failed. I have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise. I regret, therefore, to announce that I can no longer sit for this party.”
Some of the Labour MPs who defied the whip to vote against Common Market 2.0 also defied the whip in June last year – to vote for full membership of the European Economic Area. These are Tonia Antoniazzi, Siobhain McDonagh, Anna McMorrin, Owen Smith, Jo Stevens and Dr Paul Williams, who are all strongly in favour of another referendum. All ex-Labour members of ‘Change UK’ did the same.
Kenneth Clarke’s customs union motion (C): Ayes 273 – Noes 276 (defeated by three)
Nick Boles’ Common Market 2.0 motion (D): Ayes 261 – Noes 282 (defeated by 21)
Peter Kyle’s confirmatory public vote motion (E): Ayes 280 – Noes 292 (defeated by 12)
Joanna Cherry’s revocation motion (G): Ayes 191 – Noes 292 (defeated by 1o1)
Kenneth Clarke’s customs union motion (C)
AGAINST (10): Ronnie Campbell, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, John Mann, Siobhain McDonagh, Anna McMorrin, Owen Smith, Jo Stevens, Graham Stringer, Paul Williams
ABSTAINED: David Lammy, Wes Streeting, Daniel Zeichner
Nick Boles’ Common Market 2.0 motion (D)
AGAINST (24): Tonia Antoniazzi, Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Sarah Champion, Rosie Cooper, Caroline Flint, Yvonne Fovargue, Stephen Hepburn, Mike Hill, Kate Hoey, Emma Lewell-Buck, John Mann, Siobhain McDonagh, Anna McMorrin, Grahame Morris, Ruth Smeeth, Laura Smith, Owen Smith, Gareth Snell, John Spellar, Jo Stevens, Graham Stringer, Derek Twigg, Paul Williams, Daniel Zeichner
ABSTAINED: Debbie Abrahams, Ann Clwyd, Mary Creagh, Janet Daby, Geraint Davies, Stephen Doughty, Rosie Duffield, Julie Elliott, Louise Ellman, Jim Fitzpatrick, Helen Hayes, Meg Hillier, Margaret Hodge, Darren Jones, Graham P Jones, Kevan Jones, Susan Elan Jones, Liz Kendall, Ged Killed, David Lammy, Kerry McCarthy, Catherine McKinnell, Madeleine Moon, Toby Perkins, Bridget Phillipson, Ellie Reeves, Marie Rimmer, Tulip Siddiq, Dennis Skinner, Wes Streeting, Anna Turley, Thelma Walker, Catherine West
Peter Kyle’s confirmatory public vote motion (E)
AGAINST (24): Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Sarah Champion, Rosie Cooper, Jon Cruddas, Caroline Flint, Yvonne Fovargue, Mary Glindon, Stephen Hepburn, Mike Hill, Kate Hoey, Dan Jarvis, Helen Jones, Kevan Jones, Emma Lewell-Buck, John Mann, Grahame Morris, Melanie Onn, Stephanie Peacock, Ruth Smeeth, Laura Smith, Gareth Snell, Graham Stringer, Derek Twigg
ABSTAINED: Julie Cooper, Judith Cummins, Gloria de Piero, Chris Evans, Jim Fitzpatrick, Carolyn Harris, Mike Kane, Ian Lavery, Liz McInnes, Jim McMahon, Ian Mearns, Lisa Nandy, Jo Platt, Paula Sherriff, John Spellar, Jon Trickett
Joanna Cherry’s revocation motion (G)
This was not a whipped vote, but MPs were advised to abstain on the motion.
AGAINST: Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Sarah Champion, Rosie Cooper, Jon Cruddas, Caroline Flint, Yvonne Fovargue, Stephen Hepburn, Kate Hoey, George Howarth, Helen Jones, Emma Lewell-Buck, John Mann, Toby Perkins, Ruth Smeeth, Gareth Snell, Graham Stringer, Derek Twigg