MPs reject all four alternatives to Theresa May’s Brexit plan

MPs have rejected all four alternatives to Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal after Parliament took control of the Brexit process for the second time in the space of a week.

A proposal from Europhile Tory grandee Kenneth Clarke for a customs union arrangement with the EU was rejected by only three votes, while a demand for a second referendum was defeated by 12 and a Norway-style deal put forward by Nick Boles by 21.

Mr Boles immediately declared that he would no longer sit as a Conservative MP, blaming the party for refusing to compromise on a means of leaving the European Union.

Nick Boles
Nick Boles announced he would no longer sit as a Conservative MP (PA Wire/PA Images)

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told MPs that the default outcome was now a no-deal Brexit on April 12, but said it was still possible to leave with a deal – and avoid holding European Parliament elections in May – if the Commons approves an agreement this week.

Cabinet will meet on Tuesday for five hours to thrash out a way forward.

Mr Barclay told MPs: “This House has continuously rejected leaving without a deal, just as it has rejected not leaving at all.

“Therefore the only option is to find a way through which allows the UK to leave with a deal. The Government continues to believe that the best course to take is to do so as soon as possible.”

SNP MP Joanna Cherry’s proposal to give MPs the power to block a no-deal Brexit by voting to revoke Article 50 was rejected by a margin of 101 votes.

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