Deep breath… MPs have used an application under Standing Order 24 so they can stage a debate on suspending Standing Order 14 to try and pass the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 6) Bill and extend Article 50.
Let’s ignore the unintelligible terminology – here’s what it actually means…
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
On Tuesday, MPs opposed to the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement applied for an emergency debate.
Their request was granted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, which then allowed those MPs to begin their efforts to block a no-deal Brexit.
This began with them forcing a vote on whether they should seize control of the Commons timetable, which is usually controlled by the government.
They won by 328 to 301 votes thanks to 21 Conservative MPs ignoring Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s orders and supporting the plan to block a no-deal Brexit.
That group have since effectively been expelled from the Tories by having the party whip withdrawn. This means the MPs keep their seats in parliament, but sit in the Commons as independent MPs.
In response to the defeat, in the first Commons vote he has faced as prime minister, Mr Johnson confirmed he will now push for an early general election next month.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
At around 3pm, MPs will continue their efforts to block a no-deal Brexit.
Labour MP Hilary Benn, supported by MPs from other parties, will introduce a draft law.
This would compel the prime minister to delay Brexit by another three months if he can’t agree a new deal with the EU.
This would be done by extending the end of the Article 50 negotiating period, which currently ends on 31 October, until 31 January 2020.
MPs will vote on the proposed legislation from around 7pm, while other MPs will also try to force votes on related matters.
This could include an attempt to revive former prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which was defeated three times in the Commons, for a fourth vote.
If MPs are victorious in legislating for a three-month delay to Brexit, Mr Johnson has vowed to push ahead with a vote for an early general election to be held next month.
He is likely to need two-thirds of MPs to support him to be successful.
But this is unlikely, as Labour have said they won’t vote for a general election until laws blocking a no-deal Brexit are in place.
This won’t come until later in the week, after legislation has passed through the House of Lords.
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