MPs faced a choice of seven Plan Bs for Brexit in the Commons on Tuesday night as the Government scrambles for a way forward on Brexit.
Sir Graham Brady’s amendment demanding changes to the backstop in the divorce deal won the support of the House of Commons after it was endorsed by Theresa May.
The hope is that securing a majority for the demand will demonstrate to Brussels that the deal can pass if the backstop is legally time limited.
Remain supporters backed a plan from Yvette Cooper to block no deal by delaying Brexit if there is not an agreement by February 26, but the amendment was rejected.
The House also backed an amendment from Caroline Spelman which rejected a no-deal Brexit but without a clear plan for avoiding one.
Other amendments from Tory Dominic Grieve Labour’s Rachel Reeves, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and SNP leader Ian Blackford were rejected.
SIR GRAHAM BRADY’S PLAN TO FIX THE BACKSTOP BY DEMANDING CHANGES FROM THE EU – BACKED BY MAY
WHAT IT DOES: Proposes replacing the Northern Ireland backstop with ‘alternative arrangements’ to avoid a hard border. Also supports leaving with a deal.
WHOSE PLAN? Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.
HOW IT WORKS: Allows Mrs May to go to Brussels and say the EU must make concessions on the backstop or get rid of it.
DID IT SUCCEED? Yes – MPs backed the plan by 317 votes to 301.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? Mrs May will go to Brussels and say changing the backstop would save her deal.
YVETTE COOPER’S PLAN TO DELAY BREXIT IF THERE IS NOT A DEAL
WHAT IT DOES: Forces ministers to extend Article 50 beyond March 29 to stop No Deal.
WHOSE PLAN? Labour’s Yvette Cooper, former Tory ministers Nick Boles and Sir Oliver Letwin.
HOW IT WORKS: Ministers lose the power to decide what is debated on February 5, which passes to backbench MPs. Miss Cooper proposes a law forcing Mrs May to ask for a delay on Brexit if No Deal is agreed by February 26.
DID IT SUCCEED? No – MPs rejected the plan by 321 votes to 298.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED NEXT? Mrs May would have lost control of Brexit with No Deal off the table.
DOMINIC GRIEVE’S PLAN TO HAND POWER TO MPS
WHAT IT DOES: Give control over Parliamentary business to MPs.
WHOSE PLAN? Dominic Grieve QC, former attorney general and ardent Remainer, and MPs who want a second referendum.
HOW IT WORKS: Government loses power over the Commons every Tuesday from February 12 to March 26 so backbench MPs could vote on Brexit. Could delay Article 50 or change the deal to include a customs union or second referendum.
DID IT SUCCEED? No – MPs rejected the plan by 321 votes to 301.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED NEXT? A second referendum would have been the most likely outcome.
DAME CAROLINE SPELMAN’S PLAN TO RULE OUT NO DEAL
WHAT IT DOES: Stops the UK leaving without a deal.
WHOSE PLAN: Former Tory Cabinet minister Caroline Spelman and Labour MP Jack Dromey.
HOW IT WORKS: Rejects No Deal.
DID IT SUCCEED? Yes – MPs backed the plan by 318 votes to 310.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? Mrs May’s main bargaining chip is weakened but there is no means of enforcing the vote.
RACHEL REEVES’ PLAN TO DELAY BREXIT IF THERE IS NO DEAL
WHAT IT DOES: Just like the Cooper plan, this demands the Government ask for an extension to Article 50 if there is no deal by February 26 – but does so only in political terms without trying to change the law.
WHOSE PLAN: Labour MP Rachel Reeves
HOW IT WORKS: Makes a political statement to put pressure on the Government.
DID IT SUCCEED? No – MPs rejected the plan by 322 votes to 290.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED NEXT? Mrs May’s main bargaining chip would have been limited by a new deadline – hampering her hopes of changing the deal.
JEREMY CORBYN’S PLAN TO FUDGE THE VOTE BY DEMANDING CHANGE BUT HINTING AT A REFERENDUM
WHAT IT DOES: Demands changes to the deal and hints at a second referendum.
WHOSE PLAN? Corbyn, Labour frontbench.
HOW IT WORKS: Ministers must let Parliament discuss No Deal, and proposes staying in a permanent customs union. If that fails, it suggests a second referendum.
DID IT SUCCEED? No – MPs rejected the plan by 327 votes to 296.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED NEXT? A second referendum would become the most likely outcome of Brexit.
IAN BLACKFORD’S PLAN TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT SCOTLAND
WHAT IT DOES: Notes that the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Commons all voted against the deal and Scotland voted Remain
WHOSE PLAN? SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford
HOW IT WORKS: Makes a political declaration about Scotland’s right to determine its own future.
DID IT SUCCEED? No – MPs rejected the plan by 327 votes to 39.
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED NEXT? Nothing.