With another big debate on Brexit going on today, we could forgive you for not understanding too much about all these debates and votes. So, as a public service, here is a quick recap.
There are two kinds of Brexit debates on the calendar right now: a so-called "significant vote" (MV), a vote to approve an agreement with the EU; and what some call a "next steps" (NS) debate, a scheduled debate because the MV was not passed, allowing MPs to vote on amendments regarding what should happen next, or "Plan B".
We had a MV so far. It was January 15 and Theresa May's agreement was rejected by a record 230. On January 29, we had a debate with the NS that allowed May to win a vote on the Brady amendment ( his contract should be adopted, subject to the replacement of the protection) but by losing the vote on the Spelman amendment (non-binding amendment excluding no agreement).
Today, we have NS2. As Rowena Mason reports in his nocturnal preview (see below) May be defeated on the main motion because Tory Brexiters of the European research group might not support it. A defeat would not have a direct and practical effect, but would nevertheless be a serious setback. After the NS1, May was about to tell the EU that she had got a majority in the Commons for at least something. A defeat today would mean that this majority left, which could leave Brussels wondering if May is able to pass something to Parliament.
In this process, the discussions on the VM are more important than those of the SN. NS 's vote today (NS2) could be quite important, but the NS3, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 27, will be much more decisive, as it will be the time when Conservative pro-Europeans could join the opposition to adopt Yvette Cooper's amendment to allow MPs to vote to defeat a Brexit without agreement. This may also be the moment when Labor MPs resign if Jeremy Corbyn does not strongly support a second referendum.
While most observers now think that MV2 will not take place until March, probably after the EU summit and just days before Brexit, on March 29, it is also possible that the debates on the NS4 or the NS5 take place at the beginning of March.
I hope everything is clear.
Downing Street still hopes to persuade GRE to support the government in the vote this afternoon. Today's program Today Liam FoxBrexiter's international trade secretary said that if the Conservatives did not support May, they would undermine it in the Brexit negotiations with Brussels.
He stated that some deputies considered the vote as an "academic and ideological exercise of purity", but that in reality it was "the raw policy of negotiation and … sending signals on the continuity and reliability of the negotiation ". He explained:
What we say is watched and listened to by those with whom we negotiate. They will look to see if Parliament is consistent, because in the debates and votes we had recently, there were two things: first, Parliament said we did not want any agreement to be concluded, and that we would sign the Prime Minister's agreement if we are able to make changes to Irish support.
Our European partners will follow our debate and will be listening today to see if they feel that if they make these concessions, the Parliament will pay them. certainly …
I think there is a risk that we are sending the wrong signals and that we need to understand that the public wants us to leave the European Union, but they would prefer us to leave with an agreement. And therefore Parliament has a duty to ensure that we send the right signals that represent these views of the British people and represent them to those with whom we negotiate.
Here is the agenda of the day.
After 10:30 am: House Leader Leader Andrea Leadsom announces the work of the House of Commons next week.
11 pm: Various Labor MPs are scheduled to speak at an event hosted by Love Socialism Hate Brexit in the Commons.
After 11:30: Members begin the debate on Brexit. John Bercow, the Speaker, will announce the amendments that will be put to the vote.
17h: MEPs start voting on the Brexit amendments.
As usual, I will also cover political news as you go along, and will bring you the best reactions, comments and analysis from the web, but I expect to focus mainly on the debate on Brexit. I will post a summary at the end of the day.
You can read all the latest Guardian articles on politics here. Here is Politico Europe's summary of this morning's political news. And here is PoliticsHome's list of the 10 best readers today.
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