Boris Johnson received another blow in Parliament yesterday as John Bercow declined the government’s request to hold a meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. To secure Brexit, the Prime minister must now introduce legislation to go through proper Parliamentary channels with a second and third reading for approval after it was published yesterday. Today, MPs vote on the second reading and on the Government’s timetable to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill’s relevant legislation passed.
What time is the vote on Brexit tonight?
The Letwin Amendment which passed Parliament this weekend stipulated the House of Commons would not have a meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill until the relevant legislation has passed.
Since John Bercow refused to allow a second vote on Monday, Boris Johnson’s final chance to get an October 31 Brexit is to pass legislation and the bill’s readings through Parliament this week.
The Government currently wants the legislation passed by Thursday, which MPs argue is not long enough to properly scrutinise the now published bill.
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The House of Commons will vote tonight at 7pm on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill’s second reading, and at 7.30pm to decide whether the proposed timetable will remain.
Tonight’s second vote is on the “programme motion”, the Parliamentary name for the Government’s proposed timetable.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked the timetable as “ridiculous”, and many MPs have signalled their distaste at the three-day limit.
However, the Government has threatened it will pull the Withdrawal Agreement Bill altogether if MPs vote down the programme motion.
What will happen this evening?
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill undergoes its second reading tonight, which will continue up until 7pm, and MPs then get a chance to vote on it.
If it passes, MPs will vote from 7.30pm on the programme motion, with results expected soon after.
So far, experts have predicted the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will pass its second reading, but the numbers for the programme motion are uncertain.
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The Government has said it will pull voting on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill altogether if MPs vote against the programme motion.
As such, many MPs are split in their voting intentions, as voting down the programme motion would potentially bring the UK closer to no deal territory.
Voting through the motion would mean Boris Johnson keeps the October 31 Brexit date.
If MPs vote for the Withdrawal Agreement but not the programme motion tonight, the Prime Minister will allow a short delay, something the EU is unlikely to offer.
If the EU offers the January 31 delay after the programme motion is voted down, Boris Johnson will pull the bill.
Should MPs decide to reject the Withdrawal Bill’s second reading in Parliament, the Prime Minister will call a general election.
In the unlikely event that MPs refuse the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the EU refuses to grant an extension, the UK will crash out of the EU with no deal on October 31.
One source told Sky political correspondent Lewis Goodall the vote for the programme motion was “tight”.
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