Brexit Bill timetable rejected by MPs

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Today MPs will continue to debate the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill supposed to give legal effect to Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement.

Keep this page refreshed for the latest updates from the Commons.


19.30 - Brexit Bill timetable rejected 

MPs have defeated the government’s bid to fast-track the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill through the Commons by 322 votes to 308, majority 14.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has offered to work with the government to agree a “reasonable timetable” for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Boris Johnson says he will now talk to European Union officials.

He will not pursue a general election at this stage.


19.15 - MPs vote for second reading of Brexit Bill

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill has cleared its first Commons hurdle after MPs approved giving it a second reading by 329 votes to 299, majority 30.

Next, MPs will vote on the programme motion, which is the timetable for debating the Bill.

The Prime Minister has proposed three days for the debates, but a number of MPs have called for more time.

If they vote against the programme motion, Boris Johnson will pull the Bill and pursue a general election.


18.30 - Crunch votes to commence at 7pm

Two crucial votes tonight will determine whether the Prime Minister will be able to live up to his "do or die" commitment to take the UK out of the European Union by the October 31 deadline.

MPs will cast their initial vote on the PM's Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) at 7pm, before being asked to back his accelerated timetable which hurries the legislation through Parliament over three days.


17.10 - Rory Stewart: Three days not enough time to debate 'hell of a big document'

Ex-Tory MP Rory Stewart has called for more time to debate and scrutinse the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

The Independent MP said the proposed three days of debate was not enough for a "hell of a big document".

"I'm not a member of this party anymore, I don't get bonus points for voting for a second referendum. I literally have nothing to gain from backing this Brexit and I'm backing it for one reason only; people voted for it and I promised to respect the result of that vote," he told the Comomons.

"But in return people deserve scrutiny.

"This is a hell of a big document. We cannot pretend that 2.5 days is enough time to scrutinise it."


15.30 - Ian Blackford: 'Vote Leave campaign runs this government'

The SNP's Westminster leader accused the government of being run by the Vote Leave campaign.

He encouraged opposition MPs tempted to back Boris Johnson's Brexit plans to "be careful".

"What you're doing is writing a blank cheque to the Prime Minister and the Vote Leave campaign that runs this government to drive the UK out of the EU on a no deal basis at the end of next year," he said.

"Friends, there is nothing you can do to stop it."


15.00 - Labour confirms it will not back Bill

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed the Labour Party will vote against the Bill's second reading tonight.

He will also vote against the programme motion, which is the Bill's timetable through the Commons over the next three days.


14.40 - Corbyn warns MPs against backing PM's Brexit plans

The Labour leader issued a warning to colleagues considering backing the Prime Minister's Brexit plans, telling them to think "very, very carefully" about their vote.

His warning came after Labour MP Lisa Nandy said she wanted the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to pass its second reading.

"Our votes at third reading are by no means secure, but we want to see if we can improve this deal and keep people's trust in democracy," she said.

And fellow Labour MP Gloria Del Piero announced her intentions to vote in favour of a second reading so she could "improve the deal" later down the line.


14.20 - PM threatens to pull Bill

Boris Johnson has insisted he will "in no way allow months more" of Brexit debate, threatening to pull the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill if MPs do not back his plans in the Commons.

He said if tonight's programme motion - a timetable of a Bill's progress through the Commons - is voted down, he will pursue an election.

"If Parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen and instead gets its way and decides to delay everything until January, in no circumstances will the government continue with this," he said.

"With great regret, the Bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a general election."


13.20 - MPs gather for Bill debate

The EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill is to have its second reading today, with the first reading taking place last night.

Beginning the debate, the Prime Minister said he wished a decision on the deal had been made on Saturday, which was the first Commons weekend sitting in 37 years.

The Bill runs to 110 pages with another 124 pages of explanatory notes.