British MPs have again failed to agree on four proposals that were tabled for voting and, in a second series of “indicative votes”, rejected half of the eight options that were voted in the Commons last week.
Options to keep the UK in the EU Customs Union alone or along with the Single Market and a customs arrangement were both narrowly rejected. The first option was defeated by a 276 to 273 vote, while the second, the“Common Market 2.0” option was rejected by a 282 to 261 margin.
The Commons also rejected a proposal to hold a second Brexit referendum with 292 votes going against the suggestion and 280 voting for a new vote to keep the UK in the European Union., The possibility of revoking Article 50 was also shot down as the Commons opted to retain the UK’s right to unilaterally quit the bloc by a 292 to 191 vote.
The votes were not legally binding for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, which has seen its attempts to push through the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement defeated on three separate occasions since January.
May now has until 12 April to either seek a longer extension from the EU to take a different course or decide to leave the EU without a deal. A UK spokesperson told New Europe that May plans to make her intentions known at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
Whip and Conservative MP Nick Boles resigned after his amendment on the Common Market 2.0 got outvoted, which forced him to acknowledge his failure to secure a deal that would guarantee the UK ’s economic strength after Brexit.
“I am resigning as Conservative whip with immediate effect. The Conservative Party has shown itself to be incapable of a compromise, so I will sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative,” added Boles, who stressed that he could no longer sit for this party. “I have done everything I can to find a compromise.”
Conservative MPs were given a free vote on all the options, as was the case in the first round of an indicative vote last week, although cabinet ministers had again been told to abstain.
Ahead of the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed his MPs in a letter acknowledging that the “vastly different and passionately held views”, existed, but urged his party to throw thier support for the Common Market 2.0 “to break the deadlock”.
Corbyn said in the letter that his party was still pushing its plan for alignment with the single market and would “keep all options on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”.