Brexit explained #52/100
Will MPs get another ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit next week?
Analysis: With the PM still desperate for a breakthrough in Brussels, it is possible that MPs will be left debating amendments to a neutral motion on Valentine’s Day, says Ashley Cowburn
Given the uncertainty at Westminster and the ongoing deadlock over an exit deal, the parliamentary schedule is not set in stone and could theoretically change.
Addressing MPs on Thursday, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said the prime minster will next week update the chamber about Brexit; something, of course, Ms May vowed to do after her deal was resoundingly rejected.
“We will bring a revised deal back to this house for a second meaningful vote as soon as we possibly can, and should that not be possible by 13 February then the government will table an amendment motion for debate on 14 February,” Ms Leadsom told the chamber.
As the prime minister is still attempting to negotiate a revised Brexit deal with Brussels and as no breakthrough has yet been reached, the suggestion Ms May could return in six days’ time and offer MPs the chance of a second vote on the UK-EU agreement is hardly a sure bet.
It therefore seems quite likely that MPs – in a similar fashion to last week – will have the chance to table amendments to a neutral motion from the prime minister on Brexit’s current state of play.
Expect further fireworks on Valentine’s Day as some MPs revisit plans that previously failed to attract a majority, such as the Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s bid to hand power to MPs to extend Article 50 and prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Theoretically, supporters of a second referendum could seek to table an amendment calling for a second public vote on Brexit – but this seems improbable given the apparent absence of a parliamentary majority for such a route.
But at least one thing is sure: the familiar week-long February recess which had been due to commence next Friday will no longer be going ahead. Just last week the government effectively cancelled the break, and today Ms Leadsom confirmed that “key Brexit-related statutory instruments” will be included in the Commons business for the week beginning 18 February.
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