UK Parliament votes on Brexit alternatives — What you need to know | News | DW | 27.03.2019
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UK Parliament votes on Brexit alternatives — What you need to know

If we could have any type of Brexit we wanted, which one would it be? That's the question British lawmakers are essentially asking themselves today in a series of "indicative votes" in the British Parliament.

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The British Parliament is set to hold nonbinding "indicative votes" on Wednesday to test parliamentary support for a range of alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May's deeply unpopular EU withdrawal agreement.

The votes come as May struggles to keep authority over the Brexit process, and her own party, just weeks before Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union.

What will MPs vote on?

While the list has not yet been finalized, the choices are expected to include:

  • Revoking Brexit.
  • Holding another referendum.
  • Supporting May's divorce deal.
  • Supporting a "Norway plus" deal, which would keep the UK in the EU single market.
  • Backing a "no deal" Brexit.

Is there support for one option?  A definitive result for one of the proposed alternatives is unlikely. Many lawmakers agree that they do not like May's deal, but they disagree on what should replace it.

Will the votes force May's hand? No. They are nonbinding and May has said she would not act on the results.

So why are the indicative votes happening? An overwhelming majority of lawmakers has twice rejected May's deal. They want to test support for alternatives in the hope that significant support for one option could force May to change course.

When is Brexit happening? Last week, the EU extended the original March 29 deadline. The UK is now obliged to leave the EU on April 12 if May's deal does not pass Parliament. If lawmakers back the prime minister's accord, the deadline would be prolonged until May 22.

amp/se (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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