My understanding is that next week the parliament is going to have a vote which effectively decides the fate of Johnson's deal: if it passes, Brexit with a deal on 31 Oct or after a short extension will become extremely likely, and if it fails, it'll mean that there is no majority for this deal in the current parliament. News seem to confirm that such a vote is planned.

On the other hand, the latest version of Jon Worth's Brexit diagram doesn't have a node for such a vote at all. It looks like everything depends only on the outcome Queen's Speech vote and on possible votes of no confidence and a FTPA election call. That strikes me as very strange, but Worth seems knowledgeable on Brexit matters, so I cannot dismiss it lightly. Is he right? If he's not, what might be the reason he didn't take such a major outcome-changing event into account?

  • Worth's graph seems to have been created before Oct 14 so it didn't account for the Johnson-EU deal struck over the previous weekend. Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 13:02
  • @Fizz No, it wasn't. Here is the tweet that has introduced this diagram, dated 2019-10-19 00:44.
    – michau
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 13:11
  • @michau that diagram is missing a boatload of possible paths, I wouldn't necessarily trust it to be accurate (as you have discovered). It looks like a bunch of people have the same question as you in the comments on that tweet...
    – user16741
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 20:19

3 Answers 3


My understanding is that next week the parliament is going to have a vote which effectively decides the fate of Johnson's deal

This is unclear. It may shed some light to read the tail end of Hansard's report on the debate of 2019-10-19. In summary, the Leader of the House stated this intention on a point of order rather than through the usual channels, to which some other MPs objected, and the Speaker will have to decide whether to permit it or not:

I will have to take advice and reflect on these matters further, because I did not receive advance notification, of any length, of the intention—still less of the intention to do it in this way.

and much later:

The Government are not the arbiter of what is orderly, as [Rees-Mogg] knows, and as I indicated to him during the exchanges on the business question on Thursday.

Update: I missed that the order paper for 2019-10-21 (tomorrow) has been published. It includes a motion proposed by Johnson:

That this House approves for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 the following documents laid before the House on 19 October 2019:
(1) the negotiated withdrawal agreement titled Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community;
(2) the framework for the future relationship titled Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom;
(3) the unilateral declaration by the UK titled Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the operation of the Democratic consent in Northern Ireland provision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

(i.e. Saturday's motion without the reference to the Benn Act), with the note

The Speaker plans to make a statement on proceedings on this Motion immediately after Defence Questions.

The SNP has an amendment on the order paper which would effectively void the motion, and the Speaker indicated on Saturday that if he permitted the motion then "manuscript" amendments could be proposed until midday on Monday, so it's possible that we'll see a repeat of Saturday where the motion's sense is inverted.


I think the importance that Worth assigns to the vote on Queen's speech is overrated in the present circumstances. And I'm not the only one to think so:

Usually, if the government lost such a vote, it would be expected to call an election, but to do this UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson would need support from two-thirds of MPs — which he doesn't currently appear to have.

"We could end up in a very strange scenario where the government can't pass its Queen's Speech but still can't get the numbers for a general election, said Thimont-Jack. "This has never really happened before and it's unclear what will happen next.

If he loses the vote on Queen's speech Johnson will probably lambast the MPs again calling them chicken for not agreeing to an election etc. They'll call again on him to resign, which he probably won't do. Actually he seems to have said that on Oct 14:

Boris Johnson will not resign if British MPs hand him another defeat by voting down his legislative agenda set out in the Queen’s Speech, Downing Street has said.

Number 10 also made it clear the British Prime Minister could plough on to introduce all the Bills announced, even if the British Parliament rejected his Government’s programme.


Opposition leaders accused the PM of using the speech as a pre-election stunt to win over voters, while Jeremy Corbyn branded it a “farce”.


Asked if Mr Johnson would resign if he is handed such a blow, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman flatly replied: “No.”

He later added: “If MPs do choose to vote against the Queen’s Speech it will be up to them to explain to the public why they are voting against greater support for our public services, including police, schools and hospitals.” [...]

And asked whether the PM could continue to progress the bills through Parliament even if the speech is defeated, his spokesman replied: “Yes, you can.”

Brexit legislation will probably still get discussed, because otherwise anti-no-deal-Brexiteers would have to gamble that the EU will offer an extension and that Johnson will not pull another stunt on it, like not signing something.

The EU is not looking forward to decide on the extension request. They want to see first how a vote on the deal goes in Westminster:

EU ambassadors agreed on Sunday morning that the withdrawal agreement would be sent to the European parliament on Monday. MEPs could vote on it on Thursday if the Commons has given its approval by then. [...]

The European council’s president, Donald Tusk, will spend until Tuesday consulting the heads of state and government about their appetite for a further Brexit delay. Ambassadors for the EU27 did not discuss the issue on Sunday morning.

Nevertheless, if that Westminster deal vote is not forthcoming, they'll probably approve an extension

Senior EU officials said it had been clear during the discussions among the leaders at a summit on Thursday that they would grant an extension. “Even [the French president Emmanuel] Macron in the room didn’t suggest otherwise”, a source said.

We'll have to wait and see if there's a majority in Westminster for not holding that deal vote (again). It seems doubtful to me that there won't be a deal-legislation vote given the position of Letwin etc., who actually support a deal.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – yannis
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 21:46

Jon Worth has just explained why he cannot make an up-to-date Brexit diagram with both Queen's Speech Vote and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

Also until I know what's happening with the vote on the Queen's Speech, I cannot make a new #BrexitDiagram

Queen's Speech Vote then Withdrawal Agreement Bill can lead to very different outcomes to these two the other way around

More context is in this thread.

  • 1
    Agreed, a VoC can't take place whilst the QS is being debated or voted on. "The 14-day period only begins if the government loses a vote of confidence; and under the Act, this has been defined narrowly to exclude budgets and Queen’s Speeches – two key votes that have long been considered an effective vote of confidence. The Commons must now pass a motion using very specific wording to trigger FTPA." link Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 11:37

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