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Brexit news - live: Three ministers resign as MPs vote to seize control over EU exit from May

Follow The Independent's live coverage of today's political events 

Benjamin Kentish,Lizzy Buchan
Tuesday 26 March 2019 00:59
House of Commons votes 329 to 302 to approve Letwin's amendment A: The Brexit Next Steps motion

Theresa May has suffered another humiliating defeat in the Commons after MPs dramatically wrested control of the Brexit process from the government.

Pro-EU Tory ministers Steve Brine, Alistair Burt and Richard Harrington resigned from their posts to back a cross-party bid to hold indicative votes on Wednesday, allowing the Commons to test support for different Brexit options.

Some 30 Conservative MPs rebelled against the government to support the amendment tabled by Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin, potentially paving the way for a softer Brexit deal that keeps the UK closer to Brussels.

It comes after the prime minister admitted there was "still not sufficient support" to bring her Brexit deal back to the Commons for a third "meaningful vote". MPs have overwhelmingly rejected her plan twice already.

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Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 09:49

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom have also arrived at Number 10.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrived shortly afterwards.

So far no one has responded to reporters' questions about the Prime Minister's future.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 09:54

We have a series of votes this evening as MPs look to seize control of parliamentary business. 

Lets go through all the amendments that are likely to to feature this afternoon:

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:01


This is the key, cross-party plan backed by Sir Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn, which aims to pave the way for a series of indicative votes in the Commons on Wednesday, effectively taking control of the Brexit process out of the hands of the government.

Among the different amendments, this is deemed the most likely to pass and by far the most significant.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:01


Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment rejects a no-deal Brexit and demands the government sets out by the end of Thursday how it will ensure the UK does not crash out of the EU on April 12 without a withdrawal agreement, if the PM’s plan is rejected again. Tory MPs Sir Oliver Letwin and Dame Caroline Spelman are among the signatories.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:13


Jeremy Corbyn’s party has tabled an amendment instructing the government to provide parliamentary time this week so MPs can find a majority for an alternative to the PM’s Brexit plan. The party has said the other options could include Labour’s plan, a customs union, a second referendum or a Common Market 2.0.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:14


The Independent Group are joined by Liberal Democrats and some Labour MPs in calling for the prime minister to immediately make the “necessary preparations” for a second referendum.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:21


Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett’s amendment seeks to make the government move a motion on whether the Commons approves the UK leaving without a deal and on whether there should be an extension to Article 50 if Britain comes within seven days of crashing out.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:25


Backed by prominent Brexiteers from across the House, Tory MP Will Quince’s amendment seeks only to reaffirm Parliament’s “commitment to honour the result of the referendum that the UK should leave the European Union”.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:32

Liberal Democrats

With support from members of the Independent Group, the Lib Dem amendment calls for a two-year extension to Article 50 to hold a second referendum on whether to leave the EU under the terms of the withdrawal agreement or to stay a member.

Shehab.Khan25 March 2019 10:36

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