Parliament to vote on how to move forward with Brexit process
- The British Parliament will hold a series of "indicative votes" today, after it decided Monday to take control of the Brexit process away from Prime Minister Theresa May. Members of Parliament submitted 16 options for how to move forward with the Brexit process, which include no-deal, a customs union and a second referendum.
- Even if Parliament reaches a consensus around one of these ways forward, it does not guarantee the government will follow suit. The indicative vote is nonbinding. "We can't pre-commit to following whatever they vote for, because they might vote for something that is completely impractical," said Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, according to CNN.
- The options will come up for debate later today, and voting on them is expected to begin around 3 p.m. EDT with the results expected around 5:30 p.m. EDT.
"I must confess that I am skeptical about such a process of indicative votes," May told Parliament before the vote to shift control passed. "When we have tried this kind of thing in the past, it has produced contradictory outcomes or no outcome at all. There is a further risk when it comes to Brexit, as the U.K. is only one half of the equation and the votes could lead to an outcome that is unnegotiable with the EU."
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, said MPs have already been working on solutions and they "must debate those to find a consensus."
"Where this Government has failed, this House must, and I believe will, succeed," Corbyn said after the vote passed.
It's not immediately clear which of the 16 options could gain widespread support in Parliament. And the order in which the votes come up could change support for what appears later on, meaning MPs likely want whatever they support to be voted on later in the night, according to the BBC.
Multiple MPs have shown support for a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum, even though these have failed in earlier votes.
A few MPs signed on to a customs union option. The U.K. would need to remain a member of both the EU customs union and the single market for trade to remain truly frictionless, but remaining in just the customs union would allow goods to move freely without tariffs, according to The Washington Post.
Another option that appears to have some support is holding a public vote on whatever Parliament decides on, allowing U.K. citizens to have a say without another Brexit referendum.
As the political confusion unfolds, the U.K. government continues to issue guidance for how businesses should handle a no-deal Brexit. The latest such document provides advice to those who export waste from the U.K. Any existing agreement for exporting hazardous waste from the U.K. to the EU will still be valid in the case of a no-deal break, the government said. But waste could still experience back up at ports.
"The Port of Dover is predicted to be the most affected and steps are being taken to minimise the impact," the government said. "Waste exports using the Eurotunnel may also experience disruptions."
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