MPS will tonight choose between 16 different Brexit options as they seize control of the process of quitting the EU.
They will get a chance to vote on a range of outcomes, from leaving with No Deal to cancelling Brexit altogether.
The “indicative votes” gambit, organised by top Tory Oliver Letwin, is designed to break the deadlock after Theresa May’s deal was twice shot down by MPs.
But it could end up deepening the confusion – with no guarantee the Commons will agree on anything at all.
From 2pm to 7pm, MPs will have control of Parliament’s business and will use the time to debate the future of Brexit.
Overnight a total of 16 different motions were tabled for debate, each one specifying a different instruction to the Government.
Speaker John Bercow will select around half of them to go for a vote this evening.
MPs will then choose whether to approve or reject each of the options in turn, with the results announced later tonight.
The most popular choices are likely to be motions calling for Britain to stay in the single market and/or customs union.
But the Commons may end up not rallying around any of the suggested outcomes.
How do tonight's Commons votes work?
TONIGHT’S “indicative votes” are a result of the Commons taking control of Brexit on Monday night.
From 2pm to 7pm, MPs will debate all possible Brexit outcomes before having their say in a formal parliamentary ballot.
They will troop into the wood-panelled No lobby of the House of Commons where they’ll be handed a ballot paper with a list of options on.
MPs will write their name on the paper and vote Yes or No on each of the options before handing them back to a clerk.
Commons Speaker John Bercow will read out the results for each option in turn around 9pm.
Overnight, MPs tabled a total of 16 different motions which could be voted on.
Mr Bercow will announce which of the plans will actually get a vote some time around the start of the debate this afternoon.
The options are likely to include:
Tory MP John Baron has drawn up a motion which endorses leaving the EU without a deal on April 12.
MANAGED NO DEAL
Two plans tabled by Brexiteer Marcus Fysh call for the Government to take steps to mitigate the impact of a No Deal scenario by agreeing a series of mini-deals with the EU to keep up essential links.
DITCH THE BACKSTOP
A group of top Tories from across the Brexit divide want to see Theresa May adopt the so-called “Malthouse compromise”, which ditches the Irish backstop from the current deal but approves the rest of it.
JUST GET OUT
A symbolic motion by Conservative MP Will Quince reaffirms the desire of the Commons to respect the referendum result and leave the EU.
Brexiteer George Eustice wants Britain to enter the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and the European Economic Area (EEA), which would see Britain remain in the single market but quit the customs union.
Jeremy Corbyn’s plan would see the UK stay in the customs union, which stops us doing trade deals, but leave the single market so we can end free movement.
The “Common Market 2.0” proposal would keep Britain in both the single market and customs union, but introduce new curbs on immigration from the EU.
A motion drawn up by Labour veteran Margaret Beckett calls for a referendum on any deal approved by the Commons.
The most hardline anti-Brexit proposal would force Theresa May to revoke Article 50 entirely in a last-ditch effort to stop No Deal.
And the Government has refused to guarantee that it will carry out the instruction of Parliament in any case.
Mrs May could take advantage of the ongoing chaos to hold a third “meaningful vote” on her deal on Thursday or Friday.
Both major parties are divided of what instructions they will issue to their MPs ahead of tonight’s votes.
Up to 30 Tory ministers have threatened to quit if they’re not given a “free vote” allowing them to back whichever motions they want.
And Labour is torn over whether or not to throw its weight behind a motion calling for a second referendum on Brexit.
Peter Kyle, who helped draw up the plan, said Jeremy Corbyn “will order MPs to vote for this”.
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But Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner suggested the party could oppose a second referendum, adding: “The Labour party is not a Remain party now. We have accepted the result of the referendum.”
MPs are planning to take control of Commons business again on Monday, when they will try to force a majority for one of the proposed Brexit options.
This week is believed to be the first time ever that backbenchers rather than the Government have drawn up the timetable for parliamentary business.
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