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13th March 2019, 22:11

UK Parliament approves motion against a no-deal Brexit

The UK Parliament approved a motion not to approve leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for the future relationship. The vote went 321 to 278.

The motion initially specified Parliament would not approve a no-deal Brexit on the 29th of March, but MPs narrowly voted in favour of the non-binding Spelman amendment, which rules out a no-deal Brexit within any timeframe.

Under the original motion, Conservative MPs were to have a free vote. However, they were instructed not to support the Spelman amendment, and therefore the amended motion. A number of MPs, including Government ministers and one of the party's own whips, defied the Government and voted in favour or abstained.

Although the motion is against a no-deal Brexit, it notes that this is still possible: leaving without a deal remains the default unless the house ratifies an agreement.

The Green amendment or Malthouse Compromise for an extension was voted down, with Parliament getting a chance to express its views on this today.

A third vote will be held on Thursday, to decide whether Parliament is in favour of asking the EU for an extension to Article 50.