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Now We’re Getting Somewhere! Brexit is as Easy as Motions; A, B, or H

British MP’s will vote this week on an array of MP’s private member bills to help funnel Parliament toward some kind of Brexit harmony.

In the next few days British MP’s will be asked to vote on a number of motions to help the UK government gauge the level of support for each potential pathway forward and perhaps begin to align their policies with the winning motions.

The government isn’t obligated to act on winning or losing motions, but it does give them some indication as to where policy advisors and policymakers on the government side might concentrate their efforts.


The following three excerpts from a BBC website article published April 1, 2019 seem to make the best sense, which is why I’ve posted them for your convenience.

A link to the full BBC.com article from which these excerpts were taken can be found at the bottom of this page.


Motion A: Unilateral right of exit from backstop

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This proposal aims to commit the UK to leave the EU on 22 May with an amendment to Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. That would allow the UK to exit the so-called Irish backstop whenever it wants, without the EU’s permission.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic “under all circumstances”, if the UK and EU do not manage to agree a permanent trade relationship in time.

Many MPs fear that it could mean the UK is tied to EU rules for years, while the Democratic Unionist Party has voted against it because it would mean Northern Ireland was treated differently from the rest of the UK.

This is a new motion, which was not considered by MPs on 27 March. But the EU has said that the backstop is not up for renegotiation.


Motion B: No deal in the absence of a withdrawal agreement

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This motion asks MPs to support the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 12 April, if they have not agreed to support the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement by then.

If the UK did leave the EU with no deal, it would mean initially trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, which could mean tariffs on certain goods and extra checks on UK goods entering the EU.

On 27 March, a similar motion was backed by 160 MPs, but opposed by 400.


Motion H: EFTA and EEA

Proposer: George Eustice, Conservative

This motion proposes that the UK rejoins the European Free Trade Association as soon as possible, meaning the UK stays in the single market.

It also requires negotiations with the EU over “additional protocols” to resolve the issue of the Irish border and agri-food trade.


All excerpts courtesy of BBC.com Brexit: What are MPs voting on?
Published April 1, 2019.

Thumbnail image courtesy of: AP Photo/Matt Dunham