March 19, 2018

United Kingdom parliament offered vote on Brexit deal

14 November 2017, 01:09 | Opal Carroll

Sky News Tory MP Anna Soubry said the Government's latest amendment to the EU withdrawal bill is"foolish

Brexit News UK EU News Brexit Vote Hard Brexit UK

The UK's Brexit Secretary, David Davis, has told the House of Commons that issues like transition arrangements, the final divorce amount and citizens' rights terms, will need the new legislation to become law.

It would allow MPs to examine any Brexit agreement "line-by-line", Mr Davis acknowledged, which means - crucially - that it could be amended.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, MPs will begin to scrutinise and attempt to amend the withdrawal bill, formerly known as the Great Repeal Bill, which aims to transfer European Union law onto the domestic statute books after Britain formally leaves the bloc in March 2019.

Mr Davis has warned, however, that Britain will exit without an agreement if MPs vote down parts of the bill.

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

"Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement". "It is crucial that this meaningful vote takes place well before we leave; that defeat for the government's legislation will not imply leaving the European Union with no deal; and that parliament has the same role in the event of a disastrous "no deal" outcome".

"Once we've reached an agreement, we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement", David said.

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Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who co-chairs a cross-party parliamentary group of pro-EU MPs, said: "David Davis's announcement just now that there will be an Act of Parliament to approve a final EU deal is totally insufficient".

Parliamentary committees will begin scrutinising the Withdrawal Bill on Thursday.

Instead, any rejection or amendment of the Bill would mean the United Kingdom leaving the bloc without a trade deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May's governing Conservatives rely on support from Northern Irish unionists for a narrow majority in parliament.

Keir Starmer, Labour's Brexit spokesman, said the proposed law was "a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat" in a series of upcoming lawmaker Brexit debates. For months Labour's been calling on ministers to guarantee Parliament a final say on the withdrawal agreement.

It comes over and above the undertaking the government has already made that it will give parliament a vote on the final deal as soon as possible after the deal is agreed'. "They have finally backed down", he said.

They also said the commitment was undermined by Mr Davis's refusal to guarantee that the vote would take place ahead of Brexit day if the talks dragged on until the last moment.

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