The 23 MPs who voted for a Second Referendum

The 23 MPs who voted for a Second Referendum

It was the final day of the Committee stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Commons and the government managed to get it through without much fuss. A lot of the debate centred around government-backed amendments which fix 29th March as the UK’s departure date in law and take away the power of ministers to set the date without a vote in parliament.

The Government adopted Amendment 400 tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin to avoid a potential rebellion. Now the government can also only change the leaving date if it’s different to the date we actually leave but Theresa May told MPs during PMQs yesterday that the leaving date would almost certainly not be changed. – Here’s the clip.

The government say they will pass another amendment in report stage to confirm that it will be an ‘affirmative resolution’ vote if they do want to change the leaving date which means that whilst it would be done via statutory instrument it would also need the approval of parliament.

Here is a summary of all the divisions last night:

  • MPs voted to reject New Clause 13 by 320 votes to 114, an amendment tabled by Labour’s Chris Leslie which would allow the UK to remain a member of the Customs Union.

This was rejected with a majority of 206 after Corbyn whipped his MPs to abstain on this vote (Frank Field Kate Hoey and Dennis Skinner defied the whip and voted with the government)

  • MPs accepted government-backed Amendment 381 by 319 votes to 294 which would fix the UK’s departure date into law as 11pm on 29 March 2019 and waived through without a vote Amendment 400 which gives Ministers the power to change the exit day if it was different to the date we leave the EU.
  • MPs voted to reject Amendment 349 which would have prevented Ministers using delegated powers to create criminal offences which carry custodial sentences by 318 to 295.

Labour’s Brexiteers voted with their party on this Amendment.

  • MPs vote 318 to 294 against an SNP backed New Clause 44 requiring independent evaluation of the impact of the bill on the health and social care sector to be made after consulting devolved ministers.

Labour voted for this New Clause but Brexit-backing Labour MPs Kate Hoey and Frank Field abstained.

  • MPs vote 316 to 296 against Conservative MP Ken Clarke’s New Clause 54 which would have put the Prime Minister’s Florence position, including her commitment to a transition period, on the face of the bill.

Labour voted for this New Clause but Kate Hoey and Frank Field abstained.

  • MPs voted decisively 319 to 23 to reject Lib Dem Amendment 120 seeking a referendum on the final Brexit agreement.

Labour were told to abstain but this time Caroline Flint and John Mann were the ones to defy Corbyn and vote with the government against a second referendum. Kate Hoey and Frank Field obeyed their whip and abstained. On the Tory side even veteran remainer Ken Clarke voted with the government against a second referendum.

The full list of MPs who voted for Amendment 120 (second referendum):

Labour (9)

Ben Bradshaw, Ann Clwyd, Geraint Davies, Paul Flynn, Mr Roger Godsiff, Helen Hayes, David Lammy, Catherine West, Daniel Zeichner

Lib Dem (9)

Tom Brake, Sir Vince Cable, Sir Edward Davey, Tim Farron, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine, Layla Moran, Jamie Stone, Jo Swinson

Plaid Cymru (4)

Jonathan Edwards, Ben Lake, Hywel Williams, Liz Saville Roberts














Green (1)



Caroline Lucas

Tellers for Aye: Alistair Carmichael and Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrats)


The Committee stage is now over and the bill returns to the Commons for report stage after Christmas.