Theresa May is considering giving MPs a vote on seven Brexit options, including revoking Article 50, over fears her Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union will not pass in the House of Commons, according to Sky News sources.
The indicative votes would be on revoking Article 50 — the EU exit clause triggered in March 2017 — accepting her Withdrawal Agreement, accepting her agreement plus a customs union and Norway-style membership of the EU’s Single Market (the “softest” possible Brexit), a free trade agreement, a second referendum, or a clean, no-deal Brexit, according to an anonymous senior minister who spoke to the broadcaster.
Another source told Sky News that several members of the Government back the plans as a “way to find a solution” if Mrs May’s controversial and unpopular agreement is rejected for a third time — assuming the Speaker of the House of Commons allows Mrs May to put it forward again.
National humiliation is imminent through these “indicative votes”.
Here is the policy the Government should have adopted the first time this hopeless deal was defeated:https://t.co/ZZo4aVptMw
The wrong Conservatives have the levers of power https://t.co/g9id6b0Muy
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) March 22, 2019
An “indicative vote” is one where MPs vote on a series of non-binding resolutions to gauge the will of the House, and would not replace the “meaningful vote” on the agreement which could be held next week in order to fulfil the conditions set out by the EU to grant a short delay to Brexit.
The EU rejected May’s request for a three-month extension to Article 50, instead giving her until April 12th to pass her Withdrawal Agreement and then, if passed, a further extension to May 22nd to pass legislation to implement it.
The Prime Minister claims she has ruled out No Deal if she thinks her agreement can pass, but believes that if it fails, Brussels will only permit a very long extension to Article 50, on conditions which could possibly include a second referendum.
WATCH | "She's enraged most of the backbenchers. There isn't really a government!" Scathing attack on Theresa May by Mark Francois after reports she'll allow unwhipped indicative votes on revoking Article 50, second referendum & soft Brexit.
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) March 22, 2019
In response to the report, vice chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) and former Brexit minister Steve Baker MP said a “national humiliation is imminent through these ‘indicative votes’.”
“The wrong Conservatives have the levers of power,” he added.
Fellow vice chairman of the ERG Mark Francois MP told Sky News, “If the Government is going to allow unwhipped votes on indicative votes — if there is no Government position on any of those issues about the future of our country — then there isn’t really a Government.”
“I think the British people will get very angry. They voted, 17.4 million of them, to leave the European Union, and it’s becoming as plain as a pikestaff that the establishment, including senior members of the Civil Service, like Olly Robbins, and members of the Cabinet, like Amber Rudd and David Gauke, and Members of Parliament, like Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles and others, are all conspiring to steal Brexit, to use parliamentary tricks and motions and amendments basically to stop Brexit from ever happening.”
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage warned after MPs voted against leaving the EU without a deal last week that the “Brexit betrayal” was in full swing, saying, “This is a Parliament of outright liars. We will have to fight them again. And mark my words — we will beat them once more.”
Remainer Ministers in New Bid to Stop No-Deal Brexit, Force Longer Delay https://t.co/X8yFmOylM9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 22, 2019