Government loses second ‘meaningful vote’ on Withdrawal Agreement
The Government has lost its second meaningful vote in Parliament in relation to approval of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.
The first meaningful vote, held January resulted in defeat for the Government by a majority of 230.
Subsequently, the Government secured additions to the draft Withdrawal Agreement as set out in our earlier post. The changes were aimed principally at ensuring that the UK would not be trapped in the so-called backstop indefinitely , although the Attorney General confirmed that the legal risk remained unchanged and that the UK would have no “internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement”.
On 12 March 2019, Parliament rejected the revised deal, by a smaller, yet nevertheless significant majority of 149.
In line with the Prime Minister’s earlier undertakings, the Government is expected to table a motion to asking if the House of Commons supports leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Political Declaration on the future EU/UK relationship 29 March. If Parliament rejects the notion of leaving without a deal, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek an extension to Article 50 which, if approved, would require the consent of all EU Member States.