MPs set to announce most favoured Brexit option in a bid to break Parliament deadlock

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

MPs are set to announce Parliament's most favoured Brexit option as they seek to break the deadlock in the Commons.

The second round of indicative votes come as the eight alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan were rejected in the Commons last week.

MPs considered four options after Speaker John Bercow made his selection of motions to be put to the vote.

Tory MPs were given a free vote on the options, but Cabinet ministers were told to abstain.

Labour MPs have been told to back motions calling for the so-called Common Market 2.0, a customs union and a second referendum.

The debate took an unusual turn as a group of semi-naked men and women with slogans "Climate Justice Act Now" written on their torsos stood up while Labour MP Peter Kyle was making a speech.

Climate change protesters in their underwear during the debate on Brexit. Credit: James Heappey/Twitter

Several doorkeepers attempted to remove the protesters but they remained in position for several minutes.

Speaker John Bercow told MPs to ignore the demonstration and continue with the debate.

Hours later police arrested the 12 activists on suspicion of outraging public decency.

What are the motions selected by Mr Bercow?

Speaker John Bercow chose four Brexit options after Theresa May's plan was defeated for a third time last week.
  • Motion C: Customs union

This was defeated by the smallest margin in the first round, falling just six votes short. Labour will support the plan again.

Tory former chancellor Ken Clarke’s customs union plan requires any Brexit deal to include, as a minimum, a commitment to negotiate a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU”.

  • Motion D: Common market 2.0

The motion proposes UK membership of the European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area. It allows continued participation in the single market and a “comprehensive customs arrangement” with the EU after Brexit – including a “UK say” on future EU trade deals – would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal which guarantees frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.

Labour and the SNP will support the amendment.

Tabled by Conservatives Nick Boles, Robert Halfon and Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour’s Stephen Kinnock, Lucy Powell plus the SNP’s Stewart Hosie.

  • Motion E: Confirmatory public vote

This motion would require a public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by Parliament before its ratification. This option, tabled last time by Labour former minister Dame Margaret Beckett, polled the highest number of votes although was defeated by 295 votes to 268.

It has been drawn up by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson.

Labour is expected to back the plan.

  • Motion G: Parliamentary supremacy

SNP MP Joanna Cherry joins with Dominic Grieve and MPs from other parties with this plan to seek an extension to the Brexit process, and if this is not possible then Parliament will choose between either no-deal or revoking Article 50.

An inquiry would follow to assess the future relationship likely to be acceptable to Brussels and have majority support in the UK.

Ahead of the MPs casting their votes Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said called on Labour MPs not to back only their favourite options, but to vote for any proposal they can tolerate - "to break the deadlock".

Following the votes, the Prime Minister could try and pass her deal for a fourth time.

She will face an emergency EU summit on April 10.

Credit: PA
  • What's been the response to the four options?

Ahead of the MPs casting their votes Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said calls on Labour MPs not to back only their favourite options, but to vote for any proposal they can tolerate - "to break the deadlock".

Tory MP Ed Vaizey attacked his colleagues who he said were "hellbent on shoving through a no deal".

He added: "The fact is that too many of our colleagues have decided that they are the self-appointed interpreters of Brexit and that anything that gets in their way has to be stopped."

The DUP's Sammy Wilson said his party would not be backing any of the options on the ballot paper.

The MP for East Antrim said: "As far as the DUP are concerned we look at all of the options before us on two grounds; first of all do they deal with the toxic issue of the backstop, and secondly will they deliver on what people voted for in the referendum.

After outlining his objections to each of the four indicative vote options, he said: "So tonight we will not be supporting any of these arrangements."One, because they do not safeguard the issue of the union, and two, because they do not deliver on Brexit."