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David Wood blog: Where are we on the latest Brexit Vote and what will our West Country MPs do?

Today is not a 'fundamentally important day' in the Brexit debate - those are the words of the North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg who leads a group of up to 80 Conservative Brexiteer backbenchers. What is happening in the House of Commons today is a debate about Brexit, again!

MPs will be asked to vote on up to three different changes to Theresa May's Brexit plan, but even if the Government loses any of the votes then it doesn't really mean it'll have to change its plan as the votes aren't legally binding.

Pro-Brexit campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament in London as a crucial debate on Brexit gets underway. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

What today is showing though is a series of emerging themes within both our main two parties, and an apparent strengthening of views of the various factions.

  • Let me start with the Brexiteer Conservatives

They're divided on how best to ensure the Prime Minister tries to get changes to her deal from the EU, and that the UK leaves the European Union, as planned, by the end of March.

One West Country Brexiteer said to me earlier today is not the day 'to pick a fight with the Government'. That's because some in the Brexiteer camp want to been seen to support the Government tonight to show the EU the Tory party is still united, but others want to vote against it to make it clear to Theresa May they want to keep the option of a 'no deal' Brexit still alive.

Another significant camp, which publicly is keeping its cards close to its chest, is the considerable group of Conservative MPs who want to leave the EU but not in a no deal scenario.

One West Country MP, who is also a minister, has told me if necessary they're ready to be sacked from the Government if it helps stop a no deal Brexit. They won't do it yet as are reassured that the PM is talking to the EU and looking for concessions. That being said, it seems this group is already talking about extending our exit process.

Por-Brexit supporters also joined the protesters outside Westminster. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA
  • Labour

Let's turn to Labour where in the West Country we have seven MPs.

The party's official line is that it wants a General Election, a cross party deal or a second referendum to try and break the Brexit Deadlock. Pressure is mounting on the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to back a Second Referendum, but so far he hasn't, only saying that it is still an option on the table.

Some of our Labour MPs are very publicly calling on the leader to do so, while others are not. But, what I have noticed, is that those calling on him to do so are continuing to increase in number.

Leave and remain flags have donned the street opposite the Houses of Parliament since before Christmas. Credit: Claire Doherty/SIPA USA/PA

Ultimately though, after conversations with many MPs over the recent days, whatever Brexit faction they represent, the main issue is one of trust - or lack of it. All camps don't seem fully confident their party's leadership will act how they say they will.

That is the reason behind many of the arguments today. No side seems willing to blink yet - but surely one will have to soon - it is anyones guess which side that will be.