Image copyright European Photopress Agency
MPs will vote later on whether or not the UK should seek permission from the EU to delay Brexit beyond 29 March.
Backbench MPs and opposition parties put forward eleven amendments to show which direction they want the government to take on Brexit.
Speaker John Bercow has selected four amendments to be put to the vote in the Commons
But his decision to allow one calling for another referendum – but not one ruling another referendum out – has been questioned by some Brexiteers.
Tory Brexiteer Mark Francois said it was signed by “127 members of this House including the entirety of the DUP, 13 members of the Labour Party, and one independent to boot” as well as more than 100 Conservative MPs – and asked Mr Bercow why it had not been selected.
Mr Bercow told him “members do have to take the rough with the smooth” and he tried to “always do my best to be fair to the miscellany of different points of view represented in this House”.
The government motion for debate on Thursday is:
(1) notes the resolutions of the House of 12 and 13 March, and accordingly agrees that the government will seek to agree with the European Union an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3);
(2) agrees that, if the House has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then the government will seek to agree with the European Union a one-off extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) for a period ending on 30 June 2019 for the purpose of passing the necessary EU exit legislation; and
(3) notes that, if the House has not passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then it is highly likely that the European Council at its meeting the following day would require a clear purpose for any extension, not least to determine its length, and that any extension beyond 30 June 2019 would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.
Here are the amendments that have been selected:
Image copyright AFP
The cross-party amendment (h) from independent MP Sarah Wollaston, the SNP’s Philippa Whitford and Joanna Cherry, Lib Dem Tom Brake and Labour’s Neil Coyle calls for another referendum.
It changes the wording of the government motion to instruct the prime minister to request an extension to the Article 50 process “sufficient for the purposes of legislating for and conducting a public vote in which the people of the United Kingdom may give their consent for either leaving the European Union on terms to be determined by Parliament or retaining the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.”