Parliament are voting on a motion tomorrow (29th March 2019) to attempt to get the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill through. I think. Although the motion explicitly excludes reference to the political declaration on the Future Relationship.

Is this motion “on” something, or are motions standalone legal procedures for raising and voting on questions in Parliament?

Is passing a motion binding or indicative?

2 Answers 2


This will be a motion to approve the Withdrawal Agreement agreed in December, and the extra codicil that was added in February. You are correct that it does not include the declaration on the ambitions for the future relationship.

If this motion passes, this will allow the government to introduce a Bill to implement the Withdrawal Agreement. It will also extend the date of withdrawal to 22 May, as agreed between the UK and the European Council last week.

On the subject of the political declaration, there is an amendment put forward by backbench Labour MPs that would allow the Commons to set the mandate for the future relationship. If this amendment passes, then it would mean a new political declaration would need to be written and agreed to (though that shouldn't be too controversial a process).

The full text of tomorrow's motion is available on the Order Paper.

  • So is this the SI to change the date of Brexit combined with the additional capability to introduce the WA bill?
    – 52d6c6af
    Mar 28, 2019 at 23:02
  • 1
    No, the SI to change the date of Brexit was passed earlier this week. The SI says the UK will leave the EU on 22 May if a deal were to be passed today, or 12 April otherwise. If today's motion to approve the WA were passed, the SI passed earlier this week would have automatically pushed back Brexit to 22 May.
    – Joe C
    Mar 29, 2019 at 21:13

It seems like she'll have MPs vote on the Withdrawal Deal alone, without the Political Declaration, to overcome Bercow's objection that what she cannot have MPs vote on the exact same motion.


Theresa May will put only half of her Brexit deal to a vote on Friday, in a final desperate attempt to secure MPs’ support [...]


The prime minister will put another critical vote in front of MPs, but in a surprise move they will take a decision only on the “withdrawal agreement” part of the broader Brexit deal.

It's binding if (big if) it passes.

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