Is there any point in the British Parliament embarking on a series of votes that no one else seems to care about?
MPs have had a bee in their bonnets for weeks over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Twice they have booted her proposals out of the door, but still no one has laid any other proposition on the table.
With Brexit now delayed to April 12 at the earliest, everyone seems to be playing brinkmanship over if Britain will depart the European Union.
The 650ish MPs have taken upon themselves to vote for several alternatives they would like to see rather than the negotiated withdrawal agreement, even though the EU has repeatedly stated no other deal will be forthcoming.
Eight options under consideration
Indicative votes are series of options that MPs would like the government to follow – but the government is under no obligation to listen to what Parliament says.
The aim is to see if any proposal can gain a majority agreement across the House.
Speaker John Bercow has picked eight options to go to a vote ranging from cancelling Article 50 to leaving the EU without a deal.
To add to the confusion, May has hinted that she may bring here deal back for a vote over the next few days, even though Bercow has warned this cannot happen unless the details change significantly.
Worst case scenario
The worst scenario that would torpedo May and the rebelling MPs is that none of the options receives a majority, or even worse, two opposing motions do.
That would leave everyone in deadlock and the way clear for a no deal departure on April 12.
The last indicative vote was in 2003 over a motion to reform the Lords. The result was none of the options gained a majority and left the House in deadlock. The reforms remained unpassed.
May says the MPs have already had plenty of chances to give indicative votes, which she says were all ‘equally rejected’.
The votes will take place over the coming days and are expected to end by Monday evening.