“Meaningful vote” is the name that has been given to the vote referred to in Section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, and is the mechanism which ensures that Parliament must approve, or otherwise, the outcome of the negotiations with the EU.
MPs vote on a series of options designed to test the will of Parliament to see what, if anything, commands a majority.
Supporters of the indicative votes believe it could provide a way out of the current political stalemate. But they are not legally binding on the Government.
Common Market 2.0 aka Norway Plus
Takes as its starting point the Norway’s relationship with the EU and seeks to build on it. The UK would reapply to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which it left when it signed up to the EEC. If successful, it would join what is known as the "EEA pillar" of the EFTA agreement.
In essence, the UK would not leave the European Economic Area, to which it currently belongs as an EU member, and would remain a member of the single market. This plan envisages a "comprehensive customs arrangement" which would include a common external tariff as well as the UK having an input into future EU trade deals. The UK would retain freedom of movement, so British citizens would keep the right to live and work in the EU and vice-versa. However, as the EU consider that the four fundamental freedoms are indivisible, the UK would also have to ensure the other freedoms
It would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal that guaranteed frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.
A customs union is a group of states that have agreed to eliminate customs duties (import taxes) on trade between themselves, as well as reduce other administrative requirements. The EU’s customs union ensures EU member states all charge the same import duties to countries outside the EU. It allows member states to trade freely with each other, without customs checks at borders, but limits their freedom to strike their own trade deals.
The Customs Union, as proposed by Father of the House Ken Clarke, requires that any Brexit deal should include, as a minimum, a commitment to negotiate a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU" as part of the Brexit deal.
This would give the UK a close trading relationship with the EU, and would ensure that there would only need to be a minimum of checks at the Irish Border. However, it would mean that the UK would not be able to negotiate and conclude trade agreements with other non-EU countries.
Allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people (the four freedoms) within the European Union. The Single Market is not completely integrated so for example, a UK qualified auditor can not deliver their services in another EU market without going through local approvals.
It is worth noting that the EU consider that the four fundamental freedoms are indivisible, so believe the UK could not select to keep some but lose or diminish others.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
An agreement of two or more countries to cooperate to reduce trade barriers and to increase trade of goods and services with each other. This might involve reducing tariff barriers (taxes on inbound goods) or non-tariff barriers (e.g. making it easier for people to travel and work in another country).
The ‘backstop’ is the proposed mechanism to satisfy the requirement, agreed by both the UK and the EU, that there will be no ‘hard border’ (ie no intrusive checking of goods or people) between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The arrangement will automatically kick-in if there's no deal at the end of the extended transition. In essence, the ‘backstop’ would mean all of the UK staying in a customs union with the EU, but Northern Ireland also staying part of and fully aligned to the ‘single market’ on all relevant rules, without any scope for divergence.
European Economic Area (EEA)
The European Economic Area (EEA) extends the EU’s Single Market to three non-EU countries, which are also three of the four members of the European Free Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). EEA members are not covered by all EU treaties, for example, they are not party to the Common Agricultural Policy.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The European Free Trade Association is a trade organisation and free trade area comprising Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. All apart from Switzerland, are members of the EEA, with Switzerland having negotiated a special relationship with the EU. All four EFTA states are members of the Schengen area, and Norway and Switzerland enjoy tariff free access to the EU, without being members of the Customs Union.