Approval Voting by UK MP's tomorrow for Brexit


Note, this is for an “indicative” vote, used to inform whatever final decision they ultimately vote on.

When will the parliamentary process start and end?

It could begin straight after prime minister’s questions, which usually ends at around 12.45pm. Whether it starts then depends on whether any other government business has been tabled, such as urgent questions on topical matters.

Bercow is under instruction to interrupt any government business at 2pm and hand control over to parliament.

After a debate on the various proposals, MPs are expected to start voting at 7pm and the results should come in between 8.30pm and 10pm.

How will MPs physically vote?

At 7pm, “ballot papers” will be made available in the division lobbies next to the Commons chamber. Unlike most parliamentary votes, which are cast by walking through a lobby, MPs will vote by putting crosses next to “aye” or “noe” for each proposal.

MPs will be able to vote for as many of the proposals as they wish to support. How each MP has voted will be published later that night.

How will they debate the proposals?

Bercow is not expected to hold different debates on each motion. Instead, MPs will be allowed to make points about any of the proposals.

Is parliament ‘taking back control’?


Parliament will take over proceedings once Bercow begins a debate on what to do next in a business motion that decides the process of the coming votes.

This is expected to be put forward by the former Conservative minister Oliver Letwin, but alternative proposals might be put forward.

In theory, this business motion is amendable, which could give Brexiters or the government an opportunity to cause procedural chaos. Letwin and others will be on hand to try to prevent any such attempts.

MPs will debate the various indicative vote proposals from 3pm at the latest until 7pm.

Will the government or the opposition whip for or against the various motions?

We do not know if MPs will be expected to follow a particular line by their parties.

Will we know the will of parliament by the end of Wednesday?

Who knows? Parliament could end up supporting contradictory motions, or with no overall majority for any of the motions.

In theory, Theresa May’s deal, which has already been rejected twice, could end up having more support than any other proposal.

What will MPs do while their votes are being counted?

There is the small matter of officially delaying Brexit. The government will lead a debate on a legal order that needs to be passed to delay the UK’s scheduled departure on Friday 29 March. This is expected to pass with ease.

Is that the end of the process?

No. Under Letwin’s proposals, parliament will next have control of its own agenda on Monday 1 April. That could be used to order the government to pursue a particular course of action.

The government has until 12 April to propose a different way forward to the EU if it cannot get May’s deal through parliament.


Well, better get some popcorn, because that’s going to be a circus


This could be seen as a win for Approval voting. What are some good ways to get the word out? Can we update the wikipedia page for brexit with a link to the approval voting page?


And they rejected all 8 proposals. Not a win for approval voting. (That, however, says more about the UK’s parliament that likes logical paradoxes than it says about approval voting. Heck, IRV would have most likely chosen something that did NOT have majority support!)


And they rejected all 8 proposals.

There is no “rejecting”. Customs Union was the winner by a wide margin. It had more No than Yes votes, but that’s irrelevant. If they want to ignore that information because they irrationally insist on an option having “majority approval”, that’s their choice. But there was a clear winner.


The default would be a “no deal” brexit so that looks to be the choice.


Interesting break down of the results:


The fact that all the most popular options were widely backed by the left really highlights how divided and unprepared the conservatives are on this issue. They were the ones who created the Brexit crisis in the first place.


Good point. I had the same thought. The ultimate fate of Brexit will be a fascinating political spectacle.