Start Europe Brexit dispute: Who wants what in the British Parliament?

Brexit dispute: Who wants what in the British Parliament?


British Prime Minister Theresa May needs 320 votes in Parliament in London for her Brexit deal to be ratified. At the moment, it does not look like she can convince enough MPs of her deal.

Roughly speaking, May has to draw around 100 MPs to her side or twice as many to bring an abstention.

Which camp wants something in parliament?

Tory loyalists (for): At least 150 members from the Conservative faction are considered to be absolutely loyal. In addition to their mandate, they have jobs in the government and would have to hand them over to vote against the agreement. Prime Minister May may well hope for about 220 loyal party friends.

Conservative Brexit hardliners (against): Up to 80 strong men is the so-called European Research Group to the eccentric backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg. How many MPs from this group will definitely vote against the deal is unclear. But May would have to pull the bulk of this group to her side for a chance. Nearly 30 parliamentarians have already tried to overthrow May.

EU-friendly Tories (half-half): A group of around 12 members of the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve fighting for the closest possible connection to the EU or even a departure from the EU exit. In the Brexit agreement, some may see the opportunity to avoid at least a hard break with the EU.

Labor loyalists (against): Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn speculates on a new election should the Brexit agreement fail. Around 180 MPs should follow his call and vote against the deal.

EU-friendly Labor backbenchers (on the other hand): On the backbenches near Labor, a strong movement has emerged calling for a second referendum and a move away from Brexit. The approximately 60 parliamentarians around the charismatic deputy Chuka Umunna should also reject the agreement.

Labor rebels (for): Up to 20 Labor MPs may be tempted to vote for May’s Brexit agreement. Either because they themselves are convinced of the EU’s exit, or because they have a large Brexit constituency in their constituencies, like MEP Caroline Flint.

DUP (against): The 10 members of the Northern Irish Protestant Party could tip the scales. However, party leader Arlene Foster leaves no doubt that her party does not want to support the agreement. In addition, the DUP threatens to drop the government. The DUP does not want to accept any special status for Northern Ireland, as provided for in the Brexit Agreement. May relied on the votes of the DUP since the early election last year. It is questionable whether the Northern Irish can be bought with money pledges for their economically dependent province.

Other opposition (against): The Scottish National Party (SNP), the Liberals, Greens, the Welsh party Plaid Cymru – the smaller opposition parties have together about 50 MPs. SNP faction leader Ian Blackford is one of the most vocal critics of the agreement. Most have clearly positioned themselves against Brexit and are calling for a second referendum.