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Brexit: The amendments to Wednesday's no-deal vote

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Brexit: The amendments to Wednesday's no-deal vote
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REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
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At least two amendments were tabled by British lawmakers on Tuesday evening after Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, ahead of a vote on Wednesday to determine whether the country will crash out of the European Union without an agreement.

May announced immediately after being defeated by lawmakers by a 149-margin on Tuesday evening that MPs would debate and vote on whether to let the UK leave the bloc without a deal on Wednesday.

MPs have until 11:30 CET on Wednesday to submit amendments. Speaker John Bercow will then decide which ones will be put to a vote.

Two groups of lawmakers have already made their proposed amendments public.

The 'standstill agreements' amendment

The first one was tabled by a group lawmakers from the ruling Conservative party and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) — which props up May's minority government in a supply and demand agreement.

It includes arch-Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker — both prominent figures of the eurosceptic European Research Group — as well as the DUP's Nigel Dodds and pro-EU Conservative MP Nicky Morgan.

It plans for Brexit to be delayed until May 22; for the government to strike "mutual standstill agreements" with the EU and member states for an agreed period to end on December 21, 2021 at the latest; and for the country to pay "an agreed sum equivalent to its net EU contributions" during that time.

The UK's withdrawal from the bloc has to be complete before the May 23 EU elections, Jean-Claude Juncker explained in a letter on Monday evening, as it would otherwise "be legally required to hold these elections."

What this amendment proposes in effect is a transition period but without a backstop agreement — the mechanism that plans for Northern Ireland to remain within the customs union to prevent a hard border on the Irish island which Brexiteers rejected over fears it could lead to the UK being indefinitely trapped in the EU.

The no no-deal Brexit amendment

Another cross-party amendment supported pro-EU lawmakers. It calls on a no-deal Brexit to be ruled out once and for all.

The very same amendment, also from Dame Caroline Spelman and Jack Dromey, was tabled on January 29 and was passed with 318 votes in favour to 310 votes against.