The Speaker has selected seven amendments that could potentially be voted upon this evening.
- The SNP’s/Plaid Cymru’s.
- Dominic Grieve’s.
- Yvette Cooper’s.
- Rachel Reeves’.
- Caroline Spelman’s.
- Graham Brady’s.
These divide into three categories:
1) Those that won’t pass, namely –
- The SNP’s.
- Reeves’ (which calls for a two-year extension to Article 50 if no deal is agreed by February 26).
2) Those that could effect either Government policy or legislative proceedings, namely –
- Spelman’s (which states that the UK will not leave the UK without a deal, but is essentially declaratory).
- Grieve’s (which says that the Commons should take greater control of Brexit policy through a series of indicative votes).
- Brady’s (which favours replacing the backstop with “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”).
3) Those that would effect Commons proceedings –
- Cooper’s (which if passed guarantees parliamentary time for a private members’ bill drafted by Cooper that would extend article 50 to the end of 2019 if the Government fails to secure a deal by late February).
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It follows in our view that –
- If Cooper’s amendment passes, a signal will be sent to the EU that the Commons is likely to take control of Brexit policy from the Government if a deal is not secured by late February. Her Bill would begin consideration on February 5, next week.
- This will be so regardless of whether the Brady amendment passes.
- If the Cooper amendment falls and the Brady amendment passes, a signal will be sent to the EU that the Commons wants substantial changes to the backstop, and that the Government has re-established a degree of control over Brexit policy, at least for the moment.