Most of the opposition parties are in favour of leaving the EU but joining EFTA and possibly a customs union with the EU (crossing Theresa May's 'red lines'). Are there enough Conservative MPs also in favour of this 'softer' brexit to command a majority in the Commons?

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    Most of the opposition parties are in favour of leaving of EU but remaining in EFTA Citation needed
    – SJuan76
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 10:52
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    While you're probably tight on "most parties", Labour is by far the biggest of them. And it seems hard to figure out exactly what they want with Brexit; they appear to be internally split as well. Their main cry has been "elections", they do not have a concrete alternative deal to offer the EU.
    – MSalters
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 10:52
  • @SJuan - It was a Labour front bench spokeswoman in an interview, on College Green, with the BBC. I can't remember her name Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 10:58
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    One minor nitpick; The UK isn't currently in EFTA, since it left in 1973 to join the EU. counting which parties are in favour of what is also difficult, since they mostly have the opposition advantage of just saying "no" to what the Government proposes.
    – origimbo
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 15:37
  • Only time will tell how Brexit will be decided. I would say that it is difficult to know.
    – Karlomanio
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


The reason it cannot get a majority in the house is simply that it's not being put before them for them to vote on it. There is only 'This Deal or No Deal' (according to the government, who control the business of the house)

One of the amendments to the vote to delay Article 50 (amendment i) was trying to put mechanisms in place for this consensus/compromise deal to be defined, debated and voted upon, but that amendment failed.

Parliament voted by a majority of only 4 votes to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Which tells me that surely something only a little bit softer than no-deal could win a majority, if it were put to the house.

  • But what exactly is a bit softer than no deal? We're not cooking eggs, there are so many parameters and so many red lines that it's much more complex than sending it back to the kitched asking for a yolkier egg, just a tiny bit though.
    – JJJ
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 1:13
  • @JJJ the point I'm trying to make is that if a 'No Deal' brexit nearly won a majority, surely there is a majority for /something else/ so the answer to OP is 'yes, a softer brexit could command a majority' they didn't ask for details
    – JeffUK
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 1:31
  • Not necessarily. Consider a situation in which two vegetarians, and three people who exclusively eat poultry, beef and pork, respectively go for a shared meal. When voting if they want a meat-based or a non-meat-based meal, the first will command a majority. When it comes down to actually deciding on a venue (KFC, a beef-only steak house or Freddy's BBQ joint which only serves pork ribs) the five can't agree by majority. So it could be that there is no specific option (i.e. a restaurant in my analogy) that is agreeable to a simple majority.
    – JJJ
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 1:37

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