How the Vote on May’s Brexit Deal Will Unfold
The House of Commons debate on Theresa May’s Brexit deal starts on Tuesday, with five days of consideration. Voting is on Dec. 11.
- The opening of the debate was delayed by a hearing on whether ministers were in contempt of Parliament over the release of legal advice.
- The debate will start with a so-called business motion, which confirms the program of the debate.
- That became controversial on Tuesday, when Dominic Grieve, a pro-EU Conservative rebel, proposed an amendment to it that will give Parliament greater power over what happens next if May loses the main vote on Dec. 11.
- After that specific motion and amendment have been debated and voted on, May will kick off the main debate with a speech this evening. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will respond.
- The debate itself will continue for eight hours on Dec. 5, 6, 10 and 11. Each day’s debate will be led by a different cabinet minister.
- The motion simply states that “this House approves” of the withdrawal agreement and framework for the future relationship negotiated with the EU.
- No more than six amendments will be selected by Commons Speaker John Bercow on the last day of debate.
- Voting will be held on Dec. 11, starting at 7:00 p.m. Amendments will be voted on before the main motion, and each vote will take about 15 minutes, with the result announced before the next vote is taken.
- The final vote will be on the motion as amended by the previous votes. If there are six amendments it should be held at around 8:30 p.m.
- The government has repeatedly refused to say what it would do if it loses the vote. The options include putting it to Parliament again, pursuing a no-deal exit instead, a general election, and even a second referendum. The Labour Party says it will seek a vote of no-confidence in the government. May’s Tory colleagues could also seek to oust her as leader.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.