MP: No deal currently ‘most likely’ following parliament impasse

A no-deal scenario is currently the most likely outcome for the UK following a stalemate in the House of Commons last night (Wednesday, March 27), according to one MP.

Conservative MP for West Dorset Oliver Letwin, who was one of the leading members to try and find a resolution to the current impasse in parliament yesterday, spoke to RTE Radio 1‘s Morning Ireland today.

“We’ll have to find an alternative if we want to avoid no deal on April 12 – which I think, at the moment, is the most likely thing to happen,” Letwin told the radio programme.

MP indicative votes

The MP made the comments following a situation where a series of eight indicative options were voted on by MPs yesterday as the House of Commons took control of Brexit proceedings from the UK government.

The motions voted on included options to leave without a deal; have a common market similar to Norway, including membership of the single market along with a customs arrangement with the EU; to remain a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and reapply to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA); or to agree to form a UK-wide customs union with the EU.

All options were voted down by MPs. The options voted on included:
  • No deal defeated 160-400;
  • Common market 2.0 defeated 188-283;
  • EFTA and EEA defeated 65-377;
  • Customs union defeated 264-272;
  • Labour’s alternative plan 237-307;
  • Revocation of Article 50 to avoid no deal 184-293;
  • Confirmatory public vote 268-295;
  • Contingent preferential arrangements 139-422.

Other options given were: to back Labour’s “alternative plan”; revoke article 50 to ensure a no-deal departure is avoided; have a confirmatory referendum for the British public; or a managed “no-deal” process if a deal is not struck before the deadline.

On a related note, the House of Commons did manage to pass legislation to recognise the change in departure day from the original deadline of March 29.

Departure deadline

According to the House of Commons: “The statutory instrument proposing a new exit day for the UK to leave the EU has been passed. The House of Commons voted 441 to 105 in favour.

“This amends the definition of “exit day” to ensure it is May 22 or April 12 depending if the commons approves the withdrawal agreement.”