The indicative votes process was a means of ‘testing the will of the House of Commons’ with regards to different approaches on how to break the Brexit deadlock, after Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed deal was heavily defeated twice.
The options ranged from leaving the EU without a deal, holding a further referendum, and even revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit.
Other options put forward last night included the Labour Party’s proposal (remaining in a customs union and having a ‘close alignment’ with the EU single market), and an option for ‘contingent preferential arrangements’ (which calls for the Government to seek to agree preferential trade arrangements with the EU, in case the UK is unable to implement a Withdrawal Agreement with the bloc).
Victoria Atkins was one of a small group of Conservative MPs who voted against all eight options on the table yesterday evening.
Ms Atkins is a government minister and a Theresa May loyalist, and she has backed the Prime Minister’s failed deal at both previous votes.
The Prime Minister may bring her deal back the House of Commons for a third time in the coming days, although this has not been confirmed. It is expected that Ms Atkins would support the deal once again.
Earlier this month, Ms Atkins said: “Conservatives want to honour the result of the referendum and deliver a Brexit that protects our Union and jobs. I have always voted to deliver an orderly Brexit and will continue to do so.
“We must settle this, so that we are able to move on, unite our country and embrace our future opportunities.”