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Overview

"Meaningful vote" is the common name given to Section 13 of the United Kingdom's European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, entitled "Parliamentary approval of the outcome of negotiations with the EU" (full text of section). It is a requirement that the government of the United Kingdom bring forward an amendable parliamentary motion at the end of the Article 50 negotiations between the government and the European Union. 

The wording of the clause was strongly contested by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords with the Lords proposing an amendment to the bill giving further powers to parliament. When the bill returned to the Commons the Conservative government offered concessions and the Lords proposed amendment was defeated. The bill was then passed into law on 26 June 2018. 

The Scottish devolution referendum 1979 had a voter turnout threshold of 40% of eligible voters, but the Brexit one did not. It was also full of mostly pro-Brexit lies, intimidation, threats and slush money, unlike all other UK referendums. The Murder of Jo Cox was fueled by this toxic atmosphere. Both sides refused to accept the other's right to win, but only a few hardline Brexiters (against UKIP's plans) said they saw it as part of a plan for dictatorship and\or a remain vote should be violently put down.

UKIP has faced a critical reception from mainstream political parties, much of the media, and anti-fascist groups. Its discourse on immigration and cultural identity generated accusations of racism and xenophobia, both of which it denies. More recently, media outlets have often accused the party of being a far-right party, although the academics reject this label; there is, however, consensus that the party does incorporate and share elements of far-right movements.

Background

Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, the result of a referendum, 23 June 2016, the UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. The UK is thus due to leave the EU at 11 pm on 29 March 2019 UTC. 

British businesswoman, Gina Miller, took the government to court to challenge its authority to implement to invoke Article 50 without reference to Parliament. On 3 November 2016, the High Court of Justice ruled in favour of Miller in the case R (Miller and Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. 

In January 2017 the Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May announced, "I can confirm today that the Government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force." As a result, on 13 July 2017, David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, introduced the bill in the Commons

What is at stake

If  May's deal is voted down, she has 21 days to return to parliament to set out her plans in a new motion. The success of Grieve's amendment (passed 321 votes to 299) means MPs can now change that motion, giving them far greater say over the UK’s exit from the EU. The PM also faces 3 day deadline for new Brexit plan if she loses the Brexit related vote.

Intimidation

The local Northallerton Remain activist, Ian Richard Sharp-Smith, was heckled and jostled outside the town hall on in early January, 2018; by Brexiteers.

The Brexiteer Conservative (AKA: Tory) MP, Jacob Rees Mogg, had his Somerset home was vandalised and was shouted at when he went out on another occasion, both by anti-Brexit protesters in the August of 2018

The anti-Brexit Conservative (AKA: Tory) MP, Anna Soubry, was heckled and jostled outside parliament on December 7th, 2019; by Brexiteers.

The vote

The run up

The meaningful vote is due to be applied by the Commons on 15 January 2019. The vote was originally scheduled to be held on 11 December 2018 but, on 10 December, Theresa May cancelled the vote due to the ever-growing threat of the government's Brexit deal being voted down. 

The meaningful vote is due to be applied by the Commons on 15 January 2019 . The vote was originally scheduled to be held on 11 December 2018 but, on 10 December, Theresa May cancelled the vote due to the ever-growing threat of the government's Brexit deal being voted down. 

Pro-Brexit 'Brexiteers' like Jacob Rees Mogg and  the anti-Brexit 'Remainer' Conservative MP, Anna Soubry opposed it in December.

The January 15th debate

It started at 15.00pm with the Attorney General's speech.

  1. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda, accused Brexit and the following debacle of wasting valuable time, money and international cudos. He also condemned death threats that were sent to MPs constituency offices.
  2. Liz Saville Roberts, the Plaid Cymru leader, expressed her concerns over the Tory's failures, the future of wales and the decline of political debate in to a yobbish yelling match.
  3. Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley wanted the UK to leave, but with a trade agreement with the EU due the heavy levels of trade between both.
  4. Tim Farron, Lib' Dem' MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale expressed his concern over the UK's ecanomic future, the angry parliamentary debate, public animosity levels, the growing Brexit fiasco and the PM's failed regime.
  5. Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting feared the MPs' hate speech, political intimidation of MPs in public, the failed Tory regime and the increasing use of foodbanks in her part of London.
  6. Ivan Lewis, Independent MP for Bury South, feared the scrapping of Brexit and denounced a second referendum. He wanted the UK to join the EEA or EFTA. He also wanted the nation to make peace and stop hating each other.
  7. Joanna Cherry, the SNP MP for Edinburgh S.W. accused the PM of giving contracts to doubiuse firms, incompetence, failure and political bias.
  8. Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South accused Remainers of undermining Brexit, but was concerned over the economy and trade.
  9. Paul Sweeny, the Labour MP for Glasgow NE raised the issues of ecanomic failure in the UK and the PM's personal failure.
  10. Kate Green, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston feared the UK would not heal its wounds since the PM's plan was a fuge, irrelevant and economically damaging. She also thought it was a valuable time, money and international cudos.
  11. Matt Warman, Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness condemned the Remainers and supported the PM's deal.

Voting times

  1. The vote on John Barron's 'Amendment F' on the UK's right to end the Irish Backstop unilaterally started at 19.00pm.
  2. The vote on the 'Meaningful Vote' started at 19.24pm.

'Amendment F' results

  • Yes- 24
  • No- 600
  • Abstained- 16

'Meaningful Vote' results

  • Yes- 202
  • No- 432
  • Abstained- 6

Jeremy Corbyn's January 16, 2019 vote of no confidence

It was created directly after the PM's defeat by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. the SNP leader, Ian Blackford MP, both supported the vote of confidence and accused the PM of being an incompetent failure. He also called for a delay to the Brexit date and a second referendum.

Aftermath

There was an order that the PM offers The House an amended deal in 3 days time in the January 21st, 2019 Brexit Speech.

Also see

  1. Brexit
  2. Hard Irish border
  3. Irish border question
  4. Article 50 (Brexit law)
  5. No-deal Brexit scenario
  6. Anglo/French Inter-connector
  7. Eurosceptics and "Little Englanders"
  8. The European Research Group (The ERG)
  9. Jeremy Corbyn's December 17, 2018 vote of no confidence
  10. Jeremy Corbyn's December 19, 2018 "Stupid woman" comment
  11. Jeremy Corbyn's January 16, 2019 vote of no confidence
  12. The 'no deal Brexit' vote of 14 February, 2019
  13. The CBI and TUC unite again against Brexit
  14. 7 MPs quit The Labour Party on February 18th to form 'The Independent Group'
  15. The 'Meaningful Vote' of 12 March, 2019 (Brexit)

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