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MPs vote for Dominic Grieve’s Brexit amendment



Tory MP and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve
MP and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty

In yet another blow to Theresa May’s Brexit plans, MPs voted on
Tuesday in favour of getting a “meaningful vote” if the Prime
Minister’s proposals are voted down.

MPs voted 321 to 299 in support on an amendment by Dominic
Grieve, a Conservative MP. The amendment gives MPs the power to
instruct the government what action to take if May’s Brexit deal
is, as expected, voted down in Parliament.

In practice, it means that should Parliament refuse to accept the
prime minister’s deal, MPs could instruct her to extend
negotiations, hold another referendum, or pursue a different sort
of Brexit like a softer, Norway-style exit.

The amendment isn’t legally binding — but it carries huge
political weight and would be very difficult for the government
to ignore.

The vote comes immediately after MPs voted to find Theresa May’s
government in contempt of parliament over its failure to publish
its legal advice on the Brexit deal. The vote, 311-293, is the
first time in history Parliament has held a government in

26 Conservative MPs ultimately voted for Grieve’s amendment,
further evidence on ongoing discontent in Tory ranks over Brexit.

In advance of the vote, Brexit minister Steve Baker stressed that
it would not be legally binding. “Whatever the outcome of
the amendment, it is not legally binding on the PM,” he
. “
Acts are law, motions are motions. The
executive still decides how to proceed.”

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