What did Parliament decide on Article 50 and Brexit last night? And what will they discuss today?

 
Mark Sands
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General Election 2015 The Seat Of The British Government
The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

The government last night defeated four amendments to the Article 50 Bill, but with debate today kicking off around lunchtime, what's the state of play in the House of Commons?

Today's Debates

This afternoon will be focused on two different categories of amendments. Firstly the Commons will discuss tweaks to an offer of a vote on the final terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May has already vowed to poll MPs on the deal she secures from Europe, but the amendments will seek to make this vote "meaningful".

This could mean MPs being guaranteed a vote on the deal before it can be approved by the European Parliament, and therefore allowing for further renegotiation if it is rejected.

More potently, some MPs hope to secure a vote, even if the final decision from Brexit talks is to walk away from negotiations.

MPs will discuss these amendments for four hours before voting this afternoon, after which they will spend a further three hours on changes to the bill which will demand impact assessments from government departments.

Read More: May issues MPs with a fresh warning against "obstructing" Brexit

Last Night

It comes after a muscular display of discipline from government whips, who managed to repeatedly round up Tory MPs to roundly reject plans to tweak the legislation.

In four successive votes, government MPs fought off attempts to variously require more reporting from government or boost the role of devolved assemblies.

The first Labour amendment, NC3, would have required the government to report back to parliament every two months on negotiations, and publish any documents shared with European officials.

It was rejected 333 - 284, with the government arguing it was already providing more frequent updates.

The second Labour amendment, NC4, would have established a two monthly consultation process with first ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in order to "reach a consensus with the devolved administrations".

It was rejected 333 - 276.

Read More: Can the Labour Party survive Brexit?

The only SNP amendment to face a vote, NC26, would have made Theresa May's right to trigger Brexit talks subject to a "UK-wide approach to, and objectives for, the UK's negotiations for withdrawal from the EU".

It was rejected 333 - 62, with almost all Labour MPs abstaining.

The final amendment voted on last night, NC158, was tabled by Plaid Cymru, and would have required the government to lay down a report in both Westminster and Cardiff on the impact of Brexit for the EU's block grant for Wales.

It was rejected 330 - 267.

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