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SNP amendment to prevent no-deal Brexit rejected by MPs

The House of Commons voted by 288 to 324 against the motion in Ian Blackford's name.

By STV News

Published 27 Feb 2019.

A SNP amendment to rule out "under any circumstances" leaving the EU without a deal has been rejected by the House of Commons.

A total of 288 MPs backed the motion in the party Westminster leader Ian Blackford's name to 324 against following the latest in a series of debates and votes on Brexit.

It comes after the Prime Minister vowed on Tuesday to give MPs a vote on extending Brexit negotiations and on a no-deal Brexit if her deal is rejected for a second time next month.

May confirmed that she will put her Withdrawal Agreement - including whatever additional assurances she has secured from Brussels - to another "meaningful vote" by March 12.

The first was defeated in January by a record-breaking Commons margin of 230 votes.

Since then, a number of amendable motions have been submitted by the UK Government for debate in a bid to find consensus among MPs on the best next steps.

In Wednesday's votes, a Labour amendment calling on the UK to re-enter talks with Brussels to negotiate a "permanent" customs union was also rejected by 240 votes to 323.

However, an amendment by Conservative MP Alberto Costa to protect EU citizens' rights if there is a no-deal Brexit was approved by MPs without a formal vote as no one voiced opposition.

Despite this, Costa was forced to resign his position as an aide to Scottish secretary David Mundell earlier in the day for tabling the amendment.

An amendment by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to pin the Prime Minister to the commitments she made on Tuesday was also agreed by 502 votes to 20, a majority of 482.

The vote was forced by Tory Brexiteers voicing their opposition to the proposal.

The debate had been expected in recent weeks to be a dramatic affair until May's announcement that MPs would be given a vote on stopping no-deal and on postponing Brexit if her deal is rejected.

If she loses March 12's meaningful vote, MPs will be offered a vote on March 13 on if they oppose leaving the EU without a deal on March 29, the date currently set down in law as exit day.

Should that vote be successful, a third vote on March 14 will ask the Commons if it wishes to request a "short, limited extension" to the two-year Article 50 negotiation process to delay EU withdrawal beyond March 29.