Government could hold multiple votes on Brexit deal, suggests Mundell

PA

MPs could have repeated votes on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, according to Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who described Tuesday’s Commons crunch as “an initial vote”.

With the House of Commons set for a historic vote on the Prime Minister’s deal for leaving the EU, Mr Mundell suggested that the Government would hold more votes if they lose tonight as expected.

Speaking on College Green in Westminster, he told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “My feeling now is that there’s a significant number of MPs who feel that they need to – in this initial vote – vote against the deal.”

Pressed about his comments on an “initial vote”, he added: “I think that everybody has to reflect on the outcome of the vote.

“I’ve said before, and I’m still very clear, that the obvious option following this vote – if it wasn’t to go through – is to revisit the vote,” he added.

“I don’t want to see a situation where there are repeat votes.

“I do see that there are a number of people who clearly want in the vote tonight to register their position and view on the deal, but I hope that if there is another vote on this their actual thought process will be one of: ‘What are the alternatives?'”

Asked about whether anything had changed since the vote was delayed in December, Mr Mundell said: “There was the publication of letters, there was the December council and indeed some – and I concede a small number – (of) people have declared that they would now vote differently than they would have.”

On Monday, Mr Mundell said that while the Prime Minister’s deal is not perfect, he will vote for it, while the Prime Minister issued a last-ditch plea for MPs to back her.

Brexit
Brexit

Mrs May warned MPs would be behaving with the “height of recklessness” if they rejected her Withdrawal Agreement when no alternative deal was on offer which was negotiable and respected the 2016 referendum result.

Her hopes that a letter from European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker making clear the backstop was “not a threat or a trap” would win over wavering MPs look set to be dashed, as the Democratic Unionist Party – which props up her minority administration – dismissed it as “meaningless”.

More than 100 Tory MPs have also declared their opposition to the plan, amid speculation the Government could suffer one of the heaviest defeats of
modern times.

Mrs May has insisted she is focused on winning the vote – telling Conservative rebels on Monday evening they risked handing the keys of No 10 to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.