UK parliament to get vote on final Brexit deal

2017-11-14 07:46
British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis. (Yuri Gripas, AFP)

British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis. (Yuri Gripas, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - The British government will offer parliament a take it or leave vote on any final EU departure agreement, Brexit Secretary David Davis announced on Monday.

Davis's move was seen as an attempted concession to Conservative rebels who may defy the government this week by voting against separate Brexit legislation transferring existing EU laws to Britain.

However, the bid to head off opposition from restive lawmakers was met with criticism as MPs claimed the vote would be meaningless and give them little time to consider any eventual Brexit deal.

Davis confirmed that if parliament votes down the withdrawal bill, Britain would leave the European Union with no Brexit deal at all.

And he said there would be no withdrawal agreement bill, or vote, if London cannot strike a deal with Brussels.

"If we don't have a withdrawal agreement we can't have a withdrawal agreement bill, full stop."

Details of the bill are tied to ongoing and future negotiations, which will not be revealed until the talks are near completion.

"Once we have reached an agreement we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement the agreement," Davis told MPs.

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

But the proposal triggered an immediate backlash from rebels within May's own party.

Conservative MP Heidi Allen said the move was "pointless" and offered "no safeguard if no deal is reached".

'A significant climbdown'

Fellow Conservative backbencher Antoinette Sandbach said it was "meaningless" if the timetable slipped beyond the March 2019 EU exit date.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, co-chair of the cross-party parliamentary group on EU relations, said the move was "totally insufficient" and gave "no guarantee of a meaningful vote".

He said the bill must be amended "to provide for a proper, not a fake, meaningful vote before any exit day".

Chris Leslie, also from the main Labour opposition, called it a "sham offer" that was "totally worthless".

"This is a post hoc, after-the-horse-has-bolted piece of legislation," he said.

"Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement."

The Brexit ministry said the bill was expected to cover issues such as the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British nationals in the EU, divorce payments and an agreement on any post-Brexit transition period.

Keir Starmer, Labour's Brexit spokesperson, 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 has been calling on ministers to guarantee parliament a final say on the withdrawal agreement... They have finally backed down," he said.


Read more on:    uk  |  brexit

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.