Brexit in deadlock as MPs seek consensus

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Theresa May speaking in the Commons on 27 March

The Brexit process remains in deadlock as MPs struggle to find a consensus on the next steps.

The Commons failed to find a majority for a way forward after voting for eight different options on Wednesday.

While some senior Brexiteers have moved towards supporting Theresa May’s deal, the MPs she relies on in the DUP have refused to alter their stance.

The PM won some support by saying she would resign ahead of the next round of EU negotiations if her deal passes.

This means she still may bring her plan back to the Commons this week for another vote the so called “meaningful vote three” despite it already being defeated twice by large margins.

Mrs May’s close ally and former deputy Damian Green told reporters that the prime minister will “take the path of soldiering on.” But although the prime minister has won over the likes of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a number of hardcore Brexiteers are still refusing to vote for the deal.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said he still believed it is still possible to get concessions from the EU on the deal, but if the bloc does not move, there should be“sensible conversations” around no-deal.

And the vice-chairman of the backbench European Research Group, Steve Baker, has suggested he may resign the Conservative whip rather than vote for the deal.

Vote to seize power
MPs voted to seize power of the Commons on Wednesday and put forward a series of options to take Brexit forward – including leaving without a deal, creating a customs union and backing a confirmatory referendum on any deal. But after several hours of debate, none of the eight options emerged as a front runner among MPs.

Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who oversaw the unprecedented process of “indicative votes”, said the lack of a majority for any proposition was “disappointing”.

“It’s very difficult to translate from how people vote the first time, when they don’t know how other people are voting, to how they will vote when they can see how other people are voting under new circumstances,” he said.

He went further to say today that no “assumptions” should be made about the outcome of further indicative votes, which he believes should take place on Monday if the PM’s deal is not approved this week.

 

Dominica Nwabufo/ BBC