For the second time, the UK Parliament rejected all proposals.
Motion C: customs union
The Tory former chancellor Ken Clarke’s customs union plan requires any Brexit deal to include, as a minimum, a commitment to negotiate a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU”. This was defeated by the smallest margin in the first round, falling just six votes short.
On 27 March, MPs voted against this option by 271 to 265.
April 1: 276-273
Motion D: ‘common market 2.0’
Tabled by the Conservatives Nick Boles, Robert Halfon and Dame Caroline Spelman, Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and Lucy Powell, and the SNP’s Stewart Hosie. The motion proposes UK membership of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and European Economic Area. It allows continued participation in the single market, and a “comprehensive customs arrangement” with the EU – including a “UK say” on future EU trade deals – would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal that guaranteed frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.
On 27 March, MPs voted against this option by 283 to 189.
April 1: 282-261
Motion E: confirmatory public vote
Drawn up by the Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, this motion would require a public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by parliament before its ratification. This option, tabled last time by the Labour former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett, polled the highest number of votes.
On 27 March, MPs voted against this option by 295 to 268.
April 1: 292-280
Motion G: parliamentary supremacy
The SNP MP Joanna Cherry joins the Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve and MPs from other parties with this plan to seek an extension to the Brexit process, and if this is not possible then parliament will choose between either no deal or revoking article 50.
An inquiry would follow to assess the future relationship likely to be acceptable to Brussels and have majority support in the UK.
On 27 March, MPs voted against this option by 293 to 184.
April 1: 292-191
My Deal or No Deal?
DUP would not support any of the options. This came as a surprise to many.
Once again, All Options Failed. Even if one of the options succeeds in the next round of indicative votes Theresa May might not go along with it.
Eurointelligence thought today was the final day of indicative votes. I expected more procedures on Wednesday. I hope Euroiintelligence is correct, but I highly doubt so.
Theresa May reject a Customs Union even if it gets support on Wednesday, assuming if it does get a vote on Wednesday.
May's Deal Subject to Referendum
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, says there would be a big majority if MP were allowed to vote on backing May’s deal subject to a referendum.
May would not likely go along and the EU would not likely go along. A referendum would take too long. So, from the point of view of those hoping for a hard Brexit or May's Binary Choice, the more time wasted discussing such silliness, the better.
Note that Labour is to blame for these customs unions votes failing!
Corbyn has to be more than a bit fuming.
Hard Brexit Inevitable?
I do not buy that. There will likely be one more round of "indicative votes" and also likely May's Deal vs No Deal or the result of the indicative vote.
There are options left. Theresa May will try to steer this to the vote she wanted all along: My Deal or No Deal.
If she can achieve that, I suspect it will pass but it is by no means certain.
Naked Protest Amusement of the Day
11 activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery in an attempt to draw politicians’ attention to the climate and ecological crisis.
Two of the group wore full grey body paint and elephant masks to bring the message that politicians neglect of the climate crisis has become an ‘elephant in the room’. Inspired by the suffragettes’ protest in the same building over 100 years ago, activists glued their hands to surfaces in the public gallery.
It would not surprise me in the least if May were to make a statement tomorrow along the lines of ...
"Indicative votes failed twice. There is no clear majority for any option and no time left to come up with a new option that I would have adequate time to discuss with the EU. Therefore, I will no longer consider any indicative votes. The EU gave us a timeline and we failed to act. The choice now is to vote for or against the EU's deal one final time."
I suspect enough Labour MPs would overcome rebel Tories plus DUP who certainly would reject that offer.
One way or another we are approaching the binary choice that May wanted all along.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock