What the Grieve Amendment means and how MPs voted on it

What the Grieve Amendment means and how MPs voted on it

During discussions on the timetable motion for the five-day debate on the Brexit deal yesterday, the Government suffered a defeat when an amendment tabled by anti-Brexit former Attorney General Dominic Grieve was passed by 321 to 299 – a majority of 22.

The Grieve amendment will allow future Commons motions after a Government defeat on its deal to be amendable, which its supporters say will enhance Parliament’s role in the Brexit process and give MPs more of a say over what happens next. Rather than merely noting what the Government says, Grieve said MPs should be able to make amendments to any motion laid down by the Government in order to try and influence events.

What was interesting about the voting on the Grieve amendment was that 25 Tory MPs rebelled against the Government to vote for it, including some who are usually hyper-loyal to the Government like Damian Green, Sir Michael Fallon and Sir Nicholas Soames. The word circulating around Parliament last night was that the Government Whips’ Office had given licence to the rebels – even encouraged them to vote the way they did – in order to put the frighteners on Brexiteers opposed to May’s deal: the logic being that it demonstrated that the numbers are there to oppose a no-deal Brexit, which means that opposing May’s deal heightens the possibility of no Brexit at all. Certainly there are Remainers holding out hope that the passing of this amendment is a means by which they will be able to fatally scupper Brexit altogether.

Two former Government whips I put this to last night agreed that such tactics were eminently plausible. However, Brexiteers continue to point out that any motions amended under the Grieve procedure would not be legally binding or change the law of the land. After all, the exit date of 29th March 2019 is set in stone – written into the European Union (Withdrawal) Act in black and white – and it would require new primary legislation to overturn that rather than a mere motion expressing a point of view. As David Davis’s former Chief of Staff Stewart Jackson wrote here on BrexitCentral recently, Parliament cannot simply block ‘No Deal’ as it is the default option. This position was also reiterated in terms by the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

The position was also stated very clearly by Sir David Natzler, the Clerk of the House of Commons, in evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee on 23rd October when he said “a mere resolution cannot change the law. The only way we can change the law is by law”.

He was then asked by the Committee Chair, Sir Bernard Jenkin: “Is there any motion that the House can bring forward and approve that could compel the Government to legislate in some way? I am thinking in particular of section 24 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, which would require a Minister of the Crown to lay a regulation to delay the date. Is there any way in which a Humble Address could compel a Minister to do that?” Sir David’s replied: “No.”

HOW MPs VOTED ON THE AMENDMENT

320 MPs are recorded as voting for the amendment (322 if you include the two tellers), including 25 Conservative rebels, 239 Labour MPs, 34 SNP MPs and 12 Lib Dem MPs, along with MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and 5 Independents (one of whom also voted in the other lobby). The result was announced as 321 MPs voting for it, which suggests the tellers miscounted by one.

Meanwhile, 299 MPs voted against the amendment (301 including two tellers), including 282 Conservatives, 4 Labour rebels, 9 DUP MPs and 4 Independents (one of whom also voted in the other lobby).

Aside from the Speaker and his three deputies, who by convention do not vote – and the 7 Sinn Fein MPs who have not taken their seats – 17 MPs did not participate in the division.

N.B. Independent MP Kelvin Hopkins is listed as having voted in each lobby – effectively a deliberate abstention where his votes cancel each other out.

Below are the full lists of which MPs voted for the amendment, those who did not vote at all (although NB it is impossible to know whether they deliberately abstained, were away from Westminster on parliamentary business elsewhere or were ill etc.) and of course the full list of those who voted against the amendment.

THE 322 MPs RECORDED AS BACKING THE AMENDMENT

 

Conservative

  1. Heidi Allen
  2. Guto Bebb
  3. Richard Benyon
  4. Nick Boles
  5. Kenneth Clarke
  6. Jonathan Djanogly
  7. Michael Fallon
  8. George Freeman
  9. Richard Graham
  10. Damian Green
  11. Justine Greening
  12. Dominic Grieve
  13. Oliver Heald
  14. Jo Johnson
  15. Phillip Lee
  16. Jeremy Lefroy
  17. Oliver Letwin
  18. Nicky Morgan
  19. Bob Neill
  20. Antoinette Sandbach
  21. Nicholas Soames
  22. Anna Soubry
  23. John Stevenson
  24. Edward Vaizey
  25. Sarah Wollaston

Green

  1. Caroline Lucas

Independent

  1. Sylvia Hermon
  2. Kelvin Hopkins (voted in both lobbies)
  3. Ivan Lewis
  4. Jared O’Mara
  5. John Woodcock

Labour

  1. Diane Abbott
  2. Debbie Abrahams
  3. Rushanara Ali
  4. Rosena Allin-Khan
  5. Mike Amesbury
  6. Tonia Antoniazzi
  7. Jonathan Ashworth
  8. Ian Austin
  9. Adrian Bailey
  10. Kevin Barron
  11. Margaret Beckett
  12. Hilary Benn
  13. Luciana Berger
  14. Clive Betts
  15. Roberta Blackman-Woods
  16. Paul Blomfield
  17. Tracy Brabin
  18. Ben Bradshaw
  19. Kevin Brennan
  20. Lyn Brown
  21. Nick Brown
  22. Chris Bryant
  23. Karen Buck
  24. Richard Burden
  25. Richard Burgon
  26. Dawn Butler
  27. Liam Byrne
  28. Ruth Cadbury
  29. Alan Campbell
  30. Dan Carden
  31. Sarah Champion
  32. Jenny Chapman
  33. Bambos Charalambous
  34. Ann Clwyd
  35. Vernon Coaker
  36. Ann Coffey
  37. Julie Cooper
  38. Rosie Cooper
  39. Yvette Cooper
  40. Jeremy Corbyn
  41. Neil Coyle
  42. David Crausby
  43. Mary Creagh
  44. Stella Creasy
  45. Jon Cruddas
  46. John Cryer
  47. Judith Cummings
  48. Alex Cunningham
  49. Jim Cunningham
  50. Janet Daby
  51. Nic Dakin
  52. Wayne David
  53. Geraint Davies
  54. Marsha De Cordova
  55. Gloria de Piero
  56. Thangam Debbonaire
  57. Emma Dent Coad
  58. Tan Dhesi
  59. Annaliese Dodds
  60. Stephen Doughty (Teller)
  61. Peter Dowd
  62. David Drew
  63. Jack Dromey
  64. Rosie Duffield
  65. Angela Eagle
  66. Maria Eagle
  67. Clive Efford
  68. Julie Elliott
  69. Louise Ellman
  70. Chris Elmore
  71. Bill Esterson
  72. Christopher Evans
  73. Paul Farrelly
  74. Jim Fitzpatrick
  75. Colleen Fletcher
  76. Caroline Flint
  77. Yvonne Fovargue
  78. Vicky Foxcroft
  79. James Frith
  80. Gill Furniss
  81. Hugh Gaffney
  82. Mike Gapes
  83. Barry Gardiner
  84. Ruth George
  85. Preet Gill
  86. Mary Glindon
  87. Roger Godsiff
  88. Helen Goodman
  89. Kate Green
  90. Lilian Greenwood
  91. Margaret Greenwood
  92. Nia Griffith
  93. John Grogan
  94. Andrew Gwynne
  95. Louise Haigh
  96. Fabian Hamilton
  97. David Hanson
  98. Emma Hardy
  99. Harriet Harman
  100. Carolyn Harris
  101. Helen Hayes
  102. Sue Hayman
  103. John Healey
  104. Mark Hendrick
  105. Stephen Hepburn
  106. Mike Hill
  107. Meg Hillier
  108. Margaret Hodge
  109. Sharon Hodgson
  110. Kate Hollern
  111. George Howarth
  112. Rupa Huq
  113. Imran Hussain
  114. Dan Jarvis
  115. Diana Johnson
  116. Darren Jones
  117. Gerald Jones
  118. Graham Jones
  119. Helen Jones
  120. Kevan Jones
  121. Sarah Jones
  122. Susan Elan Jones
  123. Michael Kane
  124. Barbara Keeley
  125. Elizabeth Kendall
  126. Afzal Khan
  127. Gerard Killen
  128. Stephen Kinnock
  129. Peter Kyle
  130. Lesley Laird
  131. David Lammy
  132. Ian Lavery
  133. Karen Lee
  134. Christopher Leslie
  135. Emma Lewell-Buck
  136. Clive Lewis
  137. Tony Lloyd
  138. Rebecca Long-Bailey
  139. Ian Lucas
  140. Justin Madders
  141. Shabana Mahmood
  142. Seema Malhotra
  143. John Mann
  144. Gordon Marsden
  145. Sandy Martin
  146. Rachael Maskell
  147. Chris Matheson
  148. Steve McCabe
  149. Kerry McCarthy
  150. Siobhain McDonagh
  151. Andy McDonald
  152. John McDonnell
  153. Pat McFadden
  154. Conor McGinn
  155. Alison McGovern
  156. Liz McInnes
  157. Catherine McKinnell
  158. Jim McMahon
  159. Anna McMorrin
  160. Ian Mearns
  161. Ed Miliband
  162. Jessica Morden
  163. Stephen Morgan
  164. Grahame Morris
  165. Ian Murray
  166. Lisa Nandy
  167. Alex Norris
  168. Fiona Onasanya
  169. Melanie Onn
  170. Chi Onwurah
  171. Kate Osamor
  172. Albert Owen
  173. Stephanie Peacock
  174. Teresa Pearce
  175. Matthew Pennycook
  176. Toby Perkins
  177. Jess Phillips
  178. Bridget Phillipson (Teller)
  179. Jo Platt
  180. Luke Pollard
  181. Stephen Pound
  182. Lucy Powell
  183. Yasmin Qureshi
  184. Faisal Rashid
  185. Angela Rayner
  186. Steve Reed
  187. Christina Rees
  188. Ellie Reeves
  189. Rachel Reeves
  190. Emma Reynolds
  191. Jonathan Reynolds
  192. Marie Rimmer
  193. Matt Rodda
  194. Danielle Rowley
  195. Chris Ruane
  196. Lloyd Russell-Moyle
  197. Joan Ryan
  198. Naz Shah
  199. Virendra Sharma
  200. Barry Sheerman
  201. Paula Sherriff
  202. Gavin Shuker
  203. Tulip Siddiq
  204. Andy Slaughter
  205. Ruth Smeeth
  206. Angela Smith
  207. Eleanor Smith
  208. Jeff Smith
  209. Nick Smith
  210. Owen Smith
  211. Karin Smyth
  212. Gareth Snell
  213. Alex Sobel
  214. Keir Starmer
  215. Jo Stevens
  216. Wes Streeting
  217. Paul Sweeney
  218. Mark Tami
  219. Gareth Thomas
  220. Nick Thomas-Symonds
  221. Emily Thornberry
  222. Stephen Timms
  223. Jon Trickett
  224. Anna Turley
  225. Karl Turner
  226. Stephen Twigg
  227. Liz Twist
  228. Chuka Umunna
  229. Keith Vaz
  230. Valerie Vaz
  231. Thelma Walker
  232. Tom Watson
  233. Catherine West
  234. Matt Western
  235. Alan Whitehead
  236. Martin Whitfield
  237. Paul Williams
  238. Chris Williamson
  239. Phil Wilson
  240. Mohammad Yasin
  241. Daniel Zeichner

Liberal Democrat

  1. Tom Brake
  2. Vince Cable
  3. Alistair Carmichael
  4. Ed Davey
  5. Tim Farron
  6. Wera Hobhouse
  7. Christine Jardine
  8. Norman Lamb
  9. Stephen Lloyd
  10. Layla Moran
  11. Jamie Stone
  12. Jo Swinson

Plaid Cymru

  1. Jonathan Edwards
  2. Ben Lake
  3. Liz Saville Roberts
  4. Hywel Williams

SNP

  1. Hannah Bardell
  2. Mhairi Black
  3. Ian Blackford
  4. Kirsty Blackman
  5. Deidre Brock
  6. Alan Brown
  7. Lisa Cameron
  8. Doug Chapman
  9. Joanna Cherry
  10. Ronnie Cowan
  11. Angela Crawley
  12. Martyn Day
  13. Martin Docherty-Hughes
  14. Marion Fellows
  15. Stephen Gethins
  16. Patricia Gibson
  17. Patrick Grady
  18. Peter Grant
  19. Drew Hendry
  20. Stewart Hosie
  21. Chris Law
  22. David Linden
  23. Angus MacNeil
  24. Stewart McDonald
  25. Stuart McDonald
  26. John McNally
  27. Carol Monaghan
  28. Gavin Newlands
  29. Brendan O’Hara
  30. Tommy Sheppard
  31. Chris Stephens
  32. Alison Thewliss
  33. Philippa Whitford
  34. Pete Wishart

THE 17 MPs WHO DID NOT VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT*

 

Conservative

  1. Stephen Crabb
  2. Stephen McPartland
  3. Andrew Mitchell
  4. Priti Patel
  5. Andrew Stephenson

DUP

  1. Jeffrey Donaldson

Labour

  1. Paul Flynn
  2. Holly Lynch
  3. Khalid Mahmood
  4. Madeleine Moon
  5. Laura Pidcock
  6. Geoffrey Robinson
  7. Cat Smith
  8. Laura Smith
  9. John Spellar
  10. Derek Twigg

SNP

  1. Neil Gray

*Not including the Speaker, John Bercow, and his three deputies (Lindsay Hoyle, Eleanor Laing and Rosie Winterton) who, by convention, do not vote in Commons divisions and the Sinn Fein MPs who have not taken their seats. NB: Absence from the division may be for a number of reasons, such as being ill, on maternity leave or on parliamentary business elsewhere, as well as a deliberate abstention.

THE 301 MPs WHO OPPOSED THE AMENDMENT

 

Conservative

  1. Nigel Adams
  2. Bim Afolami
  3. Adam Afriyie
  4. Peter Aldous
  5. Lucy Allan
  6. David Amess
  7. Stuart Andrew
  8. Edward Argar
  9. Victoria Atkins
  10. Richard Bacon
  11. Kemi Badenoch
  12. Steve Baker
  13. Harriett Baldwin
  14. Steve Barclay
  15. John Baron
  16. Henry Bellingham
  17. Paul Beresford
  18. Jake Berry
  19. Bob Blackman
  20. Crispin Blunt
  21. Peter Bone
  22. Peter Bottomley
  23. Andrew Bowie
  24. Ben Bradley
  25. Karen Bradley
  26. Graham Brady
  27. Suella Braverman
  28. Jack Brereton
  29. Andrew Bridgen
  30. Steve Brine
  31. James Brokenshire
  32. Fiona Bruce
  33. Robert Buckland
  34. Alex Burghart
  35. Conor Burns
  36. Alistair Burt
  37. Alun Cairns
  38. James Cartlidge
  39. William Cash
  40. Maria Caulfield
  41. Alex Chalk
  42. Rehman Chishti
  43. Christopher Chope
  44. Jo Churchill
  45. Greg Clark
  46. Colin Clark
  47. Simon Clarke
  48. James Cleverly
  49. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  50. Thérèse Coffey
  51. Damian Collins
  52. Alberto Costa
  53. Robert Courts
  54. Geoffrey Cox
  55. Tracey Crouch
  56. Chris Davies
  57. David Davies
  58. Glyn Davies
  59. Mims Davies
  60. Philip Davies
  61. David Davis
  62. Caroline Dinenage
  63. Leo Docherty
  64. Michelle Donelan
  65. Nadine Dorries
  66. Steve Double
  67. Oliver Dowden
  68. Jackie Doyle-Price
  69. Richard Drax
  70. James Duddridge
  71. David Duguid
  72. Alan Duncan
  73. Iain Duncan Smith
  74. Philip Dunne
  75. Michael Ellis
  76. Tobias Ellwood
  77. George Eustice
  78. Nigel Evans
  79. David Evennett
  80. Michael Fabricant
  81. Mark Field
  82. Vicky Ford
  83. Kevin Foster
  84. Liam Fox
  85. Mark Francois
  86. Lucy Frazer
  87. Mike Freer
  88. Marcus Fysh
  89. Roger Gale
  90. Mark Garnier
  91. David Gauke
  92. Nusrat Ghani
  93. Nick Gibb
  94. Cheryl Gillan
  95. John Glen
  96. Zac Goldsmith
  97. Robert Goodwill
  98. Michael Gove
  99. Luke Graham
  100. Bill Grant
  101. Helen Grant
  102. James Gray
  103. Chris Grayling
  104. Chris Green
  105. Sam Gyimah
  106. Kirstene Hair
  107. Robert Halfon
  108. Luke Hall
  109. Philip Hammond
  110. Stephen Hammond
  111. Matt Hancock
  112. Greg Hands
  113. Mark Harper
  114. Richard Harrington
  115. Rebecca Harris
  116. Trudy Harrison
  117. Simon Hart
  118. John Hayes
  119. James Heappey
  120. Chris Heaton-Harris
  121. Peter Heaton-Jones
  122. Gordon Henderson
  123. Nick Herbert
  124. Damian Hinds
  125. Simon Hoare
  126. George Hollingbery
  127. Kevin Hollinrake
  128. Philip Hollobone
  129. Adam Holloway
  130. John Howell
  131. Nigel Huddleston
  132. Eddie Hughes
  133. Jeremy Hunt
  134. Nick Hurd
  135. Alister Jack
  136. Margot James
  137. Sajid Javid
  138. Ranil Jayawardena
  139. Bernard Jenkin
  140. Andrea Jenkyns
  141. Robert Jenrick
  142. Boris Johnson
  143. Caroline Johnson
  144. Gareth Johnson
  145. Andrew Jones
  146. David Jones
  147. Marcus Jones
  148. Daniel Kawczynski
  149. Gillian Keegan
  150. Seema Kennedy
  151. Stephen Kerr
  152. Julian Knight
  153. Sir Greg Knight
  154. Kwasi Kwarteng
  155. John Lamont
  156. Mark Lancaster
  157. Pauline Latham
  158. Andrea Leadsom
  159. Edward Leigh
  160. Andrew Lewer
  161. Brandon Lewis
  162. Julian Lewis
  163. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  164. David Lidington
  165. Julia Lopez
  166. Jack Lopresti
  167. Jonathan Lord
  168. Tim Loughton
  169. Craig Mackinlay
  170. Rachel Maclean
  171. Anne Main
  172. Alan Mak
  173. Kit Malthouse
  174. Scott Mann
  175. Paul Masterson
  176. Theresa May
  177. Paul Maynard
  178. Patrick McLoughlin
  179. Esther McVey
  180. Mark Menzies
  181. Johnny Mercer
  182. Huw Merriman
  183. Stephen Metcalfe
  184. Maria Miller
  185. Amanda Milling
  186. Nigel Mills
  187. Anne Milton
  188. Damien Moore
  189. Penny Mordaunt
  190. Anne Marie Morris
  191. David Morris
  192. James Morris
  193. Wendy Morton (Teller)
  194. David Mundell
  195. Sheryll Murray
  196. Andrew Murrison
  197. Sarah Newton
  198. Caroline Nokes
  199. Jesse Norman
  200. Neil O’Brien
  201. Matthew Offord
  202. Guy Opperman
  203. Neil Parish
  204. Owen Paterson
  205. Mark Pawsey
  206. Mike Penning
  207. John Penrose
  208. Andrew Percy
  209. Claire Perry
  210. Chris Philp
  211. Christopher Pincher
  212. Daniel Poulter
  213. Rebecca Pow
  214. Victoria Prentis
  215. Mark Prisk
  216. Mark Pritchard
  217. Tom Pursglove
  218. Jeremy Quin
  219. Will Quince
  220. Dominic Raab
  221. John Redwood
  222. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  223. Laurence Robertson
  224. Mary Robinson
  225. Andrew Rosindell
  226. Douglas Ross
  227. Lee Rowley
  228. Amber Rudd
  229. David Rutley
  230. Paul Scully
  231. Bob Seely
  232. Andrew Selous
  233. Grant Shapps
  234. Alok Sharma
  235. Alec Shelbrooke
  236. Keith Simpson
  237. Chris Skidmore
  238. Chloe Smith
  239. Henry Smith
  240. Julian Smith
  241. Royston Smith
  242. Caroline Spelman
  243. Mark Spencer
  244. Bob Stewart
  245. Iain Stewart (Teller)
  246. Rory Stewart
  247. Gary Streeter
  248. Mel Stride
  249. Graham Stuart
  250. Julian Sturdy
  251. Rishi Sunak
  252. Desmond Swayne
  253. Hugo Swire
  254. Robert Syms
  255. Derek Thomas
  256. Ross Thomson
  257. Maggie Throup
  258. Kelly Tolhurst
  259. Justin Tomlinson
  260. Michael Tomlinson
  261. Craig Tracey
  262. David Tredinnick
  263. Anne-Marie Trevelyan
  264. Elizabeth Truss
  265. Thomas Tugendhat
  266. Shailesh Vara
  267. Martin Vickers
  268. Theresa Villiers
  269. Charles Walker
  270. Robin Walker
  271. Ben Wallace
  272. David Warburton
  273. Matt Warman
  274. Giles Watling
  275. Helen Whately
  276. Heather Wheeler
  277. Craig Whittaker
  278. John Whittingdale
  279. Bill Wiggin
  280. Gavin Williamson
  281. Mike Wood
  282. William Wragg
  283. Jeremy Wright
  284. Nadhim Zahawi

DUP

  1. Gregory Campbell
  2. Nigel Dodds
  3. Paul Girvan
  4. Emma Little Pengelly
  5. Ian Paisley
  6. Gavin Robinson
  7. Jim Shannon
  8. David Simpson
  9. Sammy Wilson

Independent 

  1. Charlie Elphicke
  2. Frank Field
  3. Andrew Griffiths
  4. Kelvin Hopkins (voted in both lobbies)

Labour

  1. Ronnie Campbell
  2. Kate Hoey
  3. Dennis Skinner
  4. Graham Stringer