What are MPs voting on in the latest Brexit showdown?

MPs are being asked to vote on a motion tabled by Theresa May which would authorise the Prime Minister to seek an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiations, delaying Brexit beyond March 29.

The Prime Minister’s motion says that if the House of Commons has approved her Withdrawal Agreement and the framework for the future UK/EU relationship by March 20, she will seek a one-off extension until June 30 to allow time for the necessary legislation to be passed.

If her deal fails to win Commons support, the motion warns it is “highly likely” the EU will require the UK to set out a “clear purpose” before granting any extension and that any delay beyond June 30 will involve Britain taking part in May’s elections to the European Parliament.

MPs have tabled a number of amendments to Mrs May’s proposal. It will be for the Commons Speaker to decide which to select for debate, and it is unlikely that all will be pushed to a vote at 5pm.

Commons Speaker John Bercow
Commons Speaker John Bercow (House of Commons/PA)

The amendments are:

– Labour

Labour’s amendment notes that Parliament has “decisively” rejected both Mrs May’s deal and no deal and calls for a delay to Brexit “to provide parliamentary time for this House to find a majority for a different approach”.

Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (House of Commons/PA)

– No second referendum

A cross-party amendment, tabled by Tory Lee Rowley and backed by 111 Leave-backing MPs, calls for the result of the 2016 referendum to be respected and a second vote on EU membership to be ruled out. Signatories include former ministers George Eustice and Dominic Raab, European Research Group deputy chairman Steve Baker, Labour MPs Gareth Snell and Caroline Flint, and Democratic Unionist Party Westminster leader Nigel Dodds.

Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab (Steve Parsons/PA)

– Second referendum

Tabled by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston and backed by members of the new grouping, Liberal Democrats and a handful from other parties, this amendment seeks an Article 50 extension to stage a second referendum with Remain and Parliament’s preferred Brexit option on the ballot paper.

Sarah Wollaston
Sarah Wollaston (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– Liberal Democrats

Sir Vince Cable’s party have tabled an amendment calling for an extension to arrange a second referendum, with Remain on the ballot paper.

Sir Vince Cable
Sir Vince Cable (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Scottish independence

Tabled by the Scottish National Party, this amendment says Scotland must not be taken out of the EU against its will and that this can best be avoided by allowing its people to vote for independence.

– Plaid Cymru

The Welsh nationalist party is calling for an extension to 2021 for more negotiations, with a binding referendum at that point on whether to accept whatever deal has been agreed or remain in the EU.

– Revoke Article 50

Tabled by SNP MP Angus MacNeil and backed by Europhile MPs from across the House, including Tory grandee Kenneth Clarke and Labour’s Keith Vaz, this amendment calls for Brexit to be halted by withdrawing the UK’s notice of intention to leave under Article 50 of the EU treaties.

Angus MacNeil
Angus MacNeil (PA)

– New negotiating team

Tabled by Leave-backing Conservative Sir Christopher Chope, with no other signatories, this amendment calls for an extension to May 22 “for the specific purpose of replacing the UK negotiating team”.

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