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Old 03-14-2019, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
It was going to be a free vote, but May reinstated the whip (against her own motion!) after it was amended to say "no no-deal ever, not just March 29". One minister resigned after voting for the motion. Several other ministers abstained but weren't sanctioned, so I assume it was a one-line whip.
SFAIK the lineage wasn't specified, since the whip was imposed orally, in the moments before the vote, rather than in writing. (In a written whip, the instruction "your attendance is required" is literally underlined once, twice or three times, and that's how the member knows whether this is a one-line, two-line or three-line whip.)

The non-sanctioning of abstainers does point to its being treated as a one-line whip. but that's a decision made with hindsight. The truth is that if there is a sufficent revolt against the whip it becomes difficult to apply sanctions to all the rebels. Even if this is deemed to have been a one-line whip, there should be sanctions against the 17 Tories who voted against the government. But this government cannot afford to sanction 17 of its own MPs; even with DUP support, it has a working majority of just 6 votes.