None of the four alternatives to the Brexit plan that British House of Commons MPs voted on Monday night achieved a majority.
Parliament rejected proposals that would have brought the UK closer to a “soft” brexit (the so-called “Norwegian way” and that of a customs union with the EU), or to the repetition of the referendum. The political blockade therefore remains in force. This is the second time in less than a week that the British Parliament has failed to agree on one of the ways to unblock the crisis of the “divorce” between London and Brussels.
The option that garnered the most support – 280 votes in favour and 292 against – was the one that asks the executive of the conservative Theresa May that, in the event that Parliament approves an exit agreement, this has to be ratified by the British people in a referendum. The option urging the government to negotiate a permanent customs union with the European Union was rejected by 276 votes against and 273 votes in favour, while the one asking to cancel the Brexit, if it had to take place without an agreement, obtained the support of 191 deputies against 292 who pronounced themselves against it. The fourth of the alternatives, the so-called common market 2.0 and informally known as “via norway” added 261 votes in favour and 282 votes against.
The latter was the preferred option on Monday, after the Labour Party announced this afternoon that it would officially support it. The ten deputies of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland voted against the four proposals, while the spokesman for the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) in Westminster, Ian Blackford, stressed that the vast majority of Scottish deputies have voted to remain in the single market and in favour of a second referendum. “The voices of the Scots are being ignored,” he lamented.