Parliament’s Brexit votes

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Timeline of Brexit votes in Parliament

  • December 2018: The Prime Minister originally planned to hold a vote on a motion to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship, as required under the EU Withdrawal Act. At the start of the debate Dominic Grieve amended the business motion to ensure that any future motions moved under the EU Withdrawal Act would be amendable. After four days of debate, it was suspended and MPs didn’t vote on the deal.
  • 15 January: The House of Commons voted against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202.
  • 29 January: MPs voted on a motion to ‘consider’ the Prime Minister’s 21 January statement on what happened next. They passed two amendments. One amendment rejected leaving the EU without a deal which, although a clear expression of political will, does not change the legal default. The second was a vote in favour of the Prime Minister’s deal provided “alternative arrangements” can be found for the Irish backstop.
  • 14 February: MPs voted against a government motion, 303–258, after around 60 Conservative MPs on both sides of the party abstained on the vote. The motion ‘reiterate[d]’ its support for the approach to leaving the EU that MPs voted for on 29 January.
  • 27 February: MPs passed a motion which ‘noted’ the statement made by the Prime Minister on 26 February, as well as ongoing discussions with the EU.
  • 12 March: MPs voted against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, again, 242–391.
  • 13 March: MPs voted on whether to leave the EU without a deal. An amendment was passed which replaced the text of the Government’s motion to reject leaving without a deal in all circumstances – removing the part of the motion which acknowledged that no deal is the default unless the UK and EU ratified an agreement. As a result, the Government decided to whip against the amended motion rather than allow a free vote – in effect, voting in favour of no deal. The motion as amended passed 321–278, after a number of ministers abstained (and one resigned).
  • 14 March: MPs approved the Government's motion on extending Article 50 unamended 412–202 on a free vote. The motion stated that if the House approved a deal by 20 March, then the Government would seek a ‘one-off extension’ until 30 June to pass necessary legislation. If the House didn’t approve a deal by that point, then the motion ‘notes’ that there would need to be a clear purpose for an extension and going beyond 30 June would require the UK to hold European Parliament elections in May.
  • 25 March: MPs voted to disapply Standing Order 14(1) – which gives government business precedent – on 27 March to give an alternative business motion precedence.
  • 27 March: MPs voted on a series of different Brexit options – none received a majority.
  • 29 March: The Government held a vote to approve the Withdrawal Agreement (without the Political Declaration on the framework for the future relationship). MPs rejected it 286–344.
  • 1 April: MPs voted on four different Brexit options – none received a majority.
  • 3 April: MPs pass all the stages of the EU Withdrawal (No.5) Bill in one day.
  • 8 April: MPs approved amendments to the EU Withdrawal (No.5) Bill made in the House of Lords. The bill received Royal Assent.
Update date: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2019