The opposition Labour party tabled an amendment calling on fellow MPs to support its alternative Brexit plan which would see the U.K. remain in a customs union with the EU among other closer links. British lawmakers voted 323-240 against the proposal, however. After the defeat, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party will back another Brexit referendum. The party is expected to table an amendment proposing a second referendum within the next few weeks.
MPs also rejected an amendment tabled by the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Welsh party Plaid Cymru suggesting that the U.K. should not leave the EU without a deal "under any circumstances," but there was overwhelming support for Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment guaranteeing Theresa May's commitment to offer MPs a vote on no-deal or a delay to Brexit in mid-March.
Amendment votes are not legally binding but they can provide a useful indication of how Parliament might vote on any binding legislation, and they can they can influence the government's choice of actions.
Amendments can be powerful tools; the high level of support for Yvette Cooper's amendment calling for a vote on a delay to the Brexit departure date in the event that a deal isn't in place before March 29 — together with a fresh threat of cabinet resignations — spurred May's decision earlier this week to offer lawmakers a chance to vote in mid-March on these options.
March 12: MPs are to have what's known as a "meaningful vote" on Theresa May's current Brexit deal by March 12. This will be the second such vote after a large majority of lawmakers voted against her deal in January.
The EU refused to renegotiate the deal but offered reassurances over the "Irish backstop" — a measure to prevent a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland if the U.K. and EU fail to agree a trade deal in a 21-month transition period after Brexit.
Critics say the deal has barely changed and is again unlikely to be approved. If it is approved, however, the U.K. will leave on March 29 with May's deal.
March 13: If May's Brexit deal fails to win approval from a majority of the U.K.'s MPs, they will get a vote on March 13 on whether they support a "no-deal" Brexit. A "no deal" would entail an abrupt departure from the bloc, no 21-month transition period and a reversion to WTO trading rules.