Parliament knocks down Labour motion to prevent no-deal Brexit

The motion to block no-deal failed by 11 votes

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Parliament has voted against a motion that would have given MPs the power to block a no-deal Brexit.

Labour introduced the motion with cross-party support with the goal of seizing control of the Brexit timetable on June 25.

But it was rejected by 11 votes – 309 to 298.

The result means MPs will not be able to introduce legislation to stop the UK leaving without a deal with the EU on October 31.

Conservative MPs cheered the result, and in response Jeremy Corbyn shouted: “You won’t be cheering in September.”

The motion was in part triggered by several Tory leadership candidates refusing to rule out proroguing Parliament to force an EU departure.

Before the vote the shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the Labour motion was a “safety valve” against such a move.

“If the next Prime Minister is foolish enough to try to pursue a no-deal Brexit without gaining the consent of this House, or to prorogue Parliament in order to force through no deal, then Parliament would have the means to prevent that,” he said.

He said the motion did not prevent the government from working to pass a Brexit deal.

Leadership hopefuls Rory Stewart and Mark Harper have both said leaving without a deal is unacceptable, but chose not to support the Labour motion.

Brexit secretary Steve Barclay said the vote was merely an attempt to avoid “internal tension” within the Labour Party.

He said it would have caused a “fundamental change” to the way the House operated.

Ahead of the vote Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said he’s nervous the incoming Prime Minister may resort to “drastic action” in order to avoid the “humiliation of the present Prime Minister” over their Brexit promises.

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