Brexit vote open thread: Government defeated again 242 – 391

Well, more than by I thought.

That was pretty emphatic.

Theresa May is making a statement and is now making the No Deal vote tomorrow a free vote. That means that Cabinet members will be able to vote against no deal and keep their jobs.

She confirms that the No Deal vote goes ahead tomorrow night and if the House declines to leave with no deal, the extension to Article 50 vote will happen on Thursday.

Surely this just shows the need to put this back to the people.

Vince’s first comment:

The Prime Minister’s authority is in tatters while Brexit as a project is also in tatters.

We now need to move quickly to extend Article 50 and for the Commons to consider legislation for a People’s Vote, just as the Liberal Democrats have argued for over two years.

Public opinion now looks to be firmly behind remaining in the EU rather than accepting this friendless deal.

Our MPs knew it was coming:

I wondered on Twitter if a Government had ever been defeated so comprehensively twice and stayed in office.

Richard Gadsden, because it was always going to be him who came up with the answer, said:

Jane Dodds said:

This is another decisive defeat for Theresa May. After two months of fruitless negotiations all this Government has done is manage to lose by a slightly smaller margin. May’s deal is dead and now we must look to the alternatives.

Parliament now faces a a choice, between no deal or no Brexit. Tomorrow MPs need to do the right thing and reject a no deal Brexit and instead support an extension of Article 50 on Thursday.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party need to wholeheartedly join our fight for a People’s Vote and support the extension to Article 50 needed to make a People’s Vote possible. This is the only way to end this crisis.

There is no time for re-negotiation, no alternative deal is possible. The choice is clear and I hope MPs choose what is in the best interests of the country in the coming days.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • John Marriott 12th Mar '19 - 7:36pm

    Another piece of the jigsaw falls into place. Let’s hope that Parliament, on a free vote, kicks out a no deal tomorrow and then, on Thursday, votes to extend Article 50 at least to see if there is a majority for an alternative way forward. Then the fun will really begin. Assuming the EU plays ball, we could be in for interesting times on both sides of the Channel, especially if nationalist trends manifest themselves in the upcoming EU parliamentary elections.

  • BBC had a rolling news programme lasting until 8pm,,,

    we heard the views of Tories, Labour, the DUP, the TIG, the ERG, the SNP and even the common folk; where was the .LibDem view?
    If, on a major issue like this, the BBC can ignore this party what does it say?

  • John Chandler 12th Mar '19 - 8:18pm

    No Lib Dems or Greens. Hmm, it’s almost like the BBC doesn’t want to give publicity to national, rather than regional, anti-Brexit parties.

  • Will she resign? She has racked up the two biggest defeats ever for a sitting government. She has lost control of her own party, and is about to lose control of the legislative process. Even her own voice, sick of repeating vacuous sound bites, is finally rebelling.

    This must be the end of the road for her, surely.

  • Oh God will it never end? Just revoke article 50 and we can all just carry on with our lives.

  • I bless my good fortune that I can say with an open heart I didn’t vote to open Pandora’s box. Who in their right mind can with good conscience proclaim this is what they voted for.

  • David Evans 12th Mar '19 - 9:34pm

    Tomorrow is the time when it will become clear that our plan of going back to the people is the only hope for the UK. But us just saying that this has to happen or that MPs need to do whatever will get us nowhere. One thing we all know is that faced with a tough decision, almost all politicians prefer delay and prevarication to taking firm decisive action and so more delay will be the most likely outcome.

    However, in itself extending Article 50 without a new plan on the table will be the worst option possible. The UK will continue to haemorrhage jobs in the interim as businesses simply totally lose faith in our entire political system, and leaving Theresa May in charge will just give her yet more time to delay, prevaricate, bully and bribe her way towards her dream.

    We now need a plan to take control from her (on this issue at least) and I hope Vince et al have spent their time wisely over the last few months (like when he wasn’t in the HoC for that crucial vote) establishing contacts and an agreement on potential courses of action to stop this mess simply continuing indefinitely.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Mar '19 - 9:55pm

    expats: The parliament Channel (201 on Freesat) followed MPs making points of order.
    Caron Lindsay’s point above was asked by Vince Cable. Tories tried loudly to try to drown him out, so the Speaker gave him a second go. Vince made the same point in slightly different language. The Speaker was reluctant to think back to the Napoleonic wars, but limiting the question to his own experience, nevertheless warned that almost everything has happened at some stage. He therefore declined to answer and moved on. Others are making the point that the Tories had a large overall majority in 1940 when the PM was forced to resign and make way “for an abler man” (WSC).
    Although the PM laid out a schedule of events over several days the Leader of the House declined to disclose anything she did not need to. It does look as though an Act of Parliament will need amending (already) and there is a risk that the UK will go over a cliff-edge by mistake as a consequence of the PM’s delaying tactics. For some businesses it is already too late because their procedures need two weeks or more.
    A Tory leadership election would take several weeks, maybe six, if the Tory membership in the country is consulted this time. If losing candidates drop out quickly again.
    The right person to take a different policy forward is Ken Clarke, the father of the house. He is retiring at the next general election (2022) so his leadership could only be interim.
    In a general election voters may think they are voting for a PM while actually voting for a local MP, who may subsequently decide to change parties as 11 have done to TIG, or exercise rights in an unpredictable, but welcome, free vote.

  • Yeovil Yokel 12th Mar '19 - 10:19pm

    ‘Tis but a scratch.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 12th Mar '19 - 10:27pm

    No mention of how remarkable the tenacity and gravitas of the pm, and how expedient and pointless the opposition, and how intransigent and unaccomodating the EU!!!

  • No Lorenzo there isn’t mainly because she isn’t. Pig headed and inept are her trademark’, not tenacious, just look at her time as Home Secretary.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Mar ’19 – 9:55pm………….expats: The parliament Channel (201 on Freesat) followed MPs making points of order……

    Thank you for that. However, I’m certain that most of the UK electorate will have missed it.

    My point was, that on a Mainstream ( BBC) programme asking the views of everyone and his wife, this party was deemed irrelevant. Pointing out that a channel, which is watched by fewer viewers than a 1am re-run of “The Price is Right”, is hardly helpful. ,

  • @expats and others

    Complain to the BBC It is important that we do – both for the Lib Dems and plurality of views on the media. And if we don’t then they won’t change.

    As it happens I think that that the BBC has been pretty good at representing the different sub-groups overall but doesn’t seem to be particularly good tonight – I have watched (sadly!) some four hours of BBC news coverage tonight and there have been three Tiggers and no Lib Dems!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 12th Mar '19 - 11:34pm

    frankie that is often so, and was at the Home Office on some issues, I refer to her extraordinary determination and strength , lost voice, lost vote, carries on, as a person and politician , especially one who has a real health problem, Theresa May has maddening and marvellous qualities, regardless of any views or not.

    No leader would have done as well or as badly according to how you see it, I take not one view only on any scenario, but look at the individual person or politician and in this instance she is quite a fighter.

  • I guess you can admire someone marching along with some determination – with May both at the Home Office and as PM it just happens to be in the wrong direction and over a cliff!

  • Richard Underhill 13th Mar '19 - 12:03am

    BBC tv news at ten has repeated what happened when Theresa May listed voting options for MPs. Another referendum? widespread cheers from MPs. Or not? cheers from leavers.
    Volume about equal. When the previous PM resigned (remember him?) I said that Tory MPs should vote for competence. They voted for Theresa May.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th Mar '19 - 2:18am


    Knowing much if not all of what is written there, changes nothing of what was written in the comments by me.

    It is because I have worked as an actor, a writer, and a director, a motivator , I know public speaking and yet cannot imagine how someone can be so able to be in the glare and so criticised and mauled and go on.

    It is because my father and my wife’s mother both grew up under dictatorships that I regard none of this as tragedy , but do feel it is true of the regimes of Italy and Poland I allude to, and expect better of such countries and others yet.

    There is face here and comedy. Tragedy is happening on knife crime daily and there are no easy party based answers there as solutions, anymore than on this topic we discuss so often here.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th Mar '19 - 2:34am

    Farce and comedy, should have said, and these do not lessen the sense of drama or content, of these debates and discussions.

    I think the uniqueness of this Brexit issue, is the uniqueness of this country.

    Nobody has exited the EU.

    It has turned out to be in my view the most important country in it.

    It is because my view of this country abroad is similar to that of Conservatives like Margaret Thatcher, I share her early view of European cooperation, and her view of later integration.

    I voted Remain and would again only if with a cast iron guarantee there would be the same opt outs and no Euro.

    I believe the EU, Macron, especially who s a great let down, do not like or understand the unique position, this country is in.

    It is why if this country was not a permanent member of the UN security council in my view that body is weakened, as are we, as is the EU without us too, as are we if little England in attitude.

    I believe the EU should offer a bespoke deal far better, because we as a nation are essential in a partnership, because we rescued the continent more or less alone for some time, and because we have responsibilities abroad , with other alliances no other EU member has, with the Commonwealth.

    Our contrary attitude should be understood and accepted, whether in or out.

  • We are living in interesting times.

  • It’s well worth noting that “No Deal” supporters are essentially being given two bites at the apple. It is entirely possible that “No Deal” be voted down and that extension of the Article 50 deadline be rejected: which would leave only two options: No deal by default; or unilateral revocation of Article 50 by the government. Both options, we are told, are non-starters; yet nothing else seems to even be on the track. With the exit deadline looming, neither a new general election nor a new referendum are remotely possible options. The UK is very likely to slide into a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of the great majority simply because there is no support for any single alternative.

  • Lorenzo,
    I think we will have to agree to disagree on the performance of Mrs May.

  • Martin Land 13th Mar '19 - 8:30am

    Some express sympathy for Mrs May. I’m unsure why. This is all very much a self-inflicted injury and once again we have an example of stupidity conforming to Einstein’s definition.
    Now it falls to Parliament to find a solution. A task I’d rather give to a class of Year Nines.

  • I have zero sympathy for Mrs May. This is entirely self-inflicted. She took the bad hand of Brexit, and played it in an appalling, partisan manner. Once she decided she had to appease the zealots within her own party and the DUP she was always destined to fail.

    You can’t bluff your way to victory when the other side can already see your cards.

    A better PM could have built a cross-party consensus for some form of soft Brexit.

  • Michael 1 12th Mar ’19 – 11:31pm……[email protected] and others….Complain to the BBC It is important that we do – both for the Lib Dems and plurality of views on the media. And if we don’t then they won’t change…..

    Been there; done;got the T-shirt.

    Prior to the 2015 GE, after the BBC 6pm news led with a ‘5 minute piece’ about “A day with Dave Cameron”, I was asked if I would appear to air my complaint. I agreed, immediately, but later received an e-mail saying I would not be required.

    Another viewer did appear to make the point about ‘BBC bias’. However, I’m vain enough to believe that I would’ve been rather more forceful.

  • This should be compulsory viewing for anyone feeling sorry for Theresa May……-jacket-215072

  • I’ll try again


  • I am not keen on the idea of a third referendum, but see no alternative.
    On the issue of the Prime Minister my view is that she has been consistent, if not always very clear. She decided to get to the situation where her deal was the only deal on the table. She succeeded in that.
    As far as the EU is concerned they allowed her to write the backstop, they supported her in keeping to the Belfast agreement, and they watched with amazement the behaviour of the House of Commons.
    My regret is that there has not been a group to put out a truthful message to counter the well funded activities of a group of Tory MPs.
    However the reality seems to be there is strong support on all sides for the advantages of having strong trade links with the rest of Europe. Some however object it seems to.having a democratic element to this. They feel that co-operating with others is a bad thing.

  • John Marriott 13th Mar '19 - 8:00pm

    Just before 8pm on Wednesday 13 March in the House of Commons another piece of the jigsaw fell into place. Have we at last arrived at the ‘end of the beginning’ at least?

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