Parliament to vote on Brexit deal

Pauline Gross
November 14, 2017

Brexit Secretary David Davis unveiled plans for the UK's divorce deal to be written into law, meaning both MPs and peers will be afforded a vote on the agreement between London and Brussels.

The UK parliament will be given the opportunity to vote on a final Brexit deal before the country leaves the EU, David Davis told MPs this afternoon.

The amendment requiring parliamentary approval of any deal was supported by 10 Tory rebel MPs, who have forced the government's hand on an issue.

Lawmakers from both main parties have been pushing for Parliament to have a greater say in the process, with some tabling amendments to government legislation that aim to prevent Britain tumbling out of the trading bloc without a deal.

Mr Davis's announcement appears to be a concession to pro-Remain Tories amid the threat of a rebellion causing a Government defeat.

"Once we have reached an agreement we will now bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement, this will be known as the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill".

And he said there would be no withdrawal agreement bill, or vote, if London can not strike a deal with Brussels. Asked whether Brexit would still go ahead if the bill was rejected, Davis simply said "yes" - meaning the country could leave the European Union without a deal in place, the cliff edge scenario feared by businesses across the country. Designed as a concession to the most enthusiastic Brexit supporters in the divided Conservative Party, the proposal would mean there's no way Britain could ask for an extension if talks fail to produce a deal.

David Davis has caved in to demands for MPs to vote on a separate Bill to implement any Brexit agreement, to head off a major Tory revolt.

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"This is a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat", Starmer said.

"It's a transparent and fairly desperate attempt at the eleventh hour to save face and avoid losing votes in the House".

"Ministers need to do much better".

Fellow Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach similarly labelled the Government's promise "meaningless" should Brexit talks slip beyond March 2019. They include Dominic Grieve, the Conservative former Attorney General, who previously tabled an amendment to the European Union withdrawal bill demanding a vote.

Before Remainers get the prosecco out, it's worth noting that Davis said in the event of a "no deal" scenario, MPs and peers would not have any vote as there would not be anything to have a bill based on.

Earlier, European business leaders warned Theresa May that jobs and investment in the United Kingdom could be lost unless urgent progress is made in the Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

The Cabinet minister added it was down to political will and he was "quite certain the political will is there".

Other reports by GizPress

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