MPs will get final say on Brexit - but it’s deal or no deal
PUBLISHED: 15:21 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 08 February 2017
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The Government has handed a “concession” to Conservative MPs who were threatening to rebel over Brexit by offering parliament a vote on the final deal with Europe “before it is concluded”.
Theresa May has handed a “concession” to Conservative MPs who were threatening to rebel over Brexit by offering parliament a vote on the final deal with Europe “before it is concluded”.
But, after some confusion in the Commons, it became clear that the vote will be on whether to take the deal on offer from the EU - or walk away and face an ultr-Hard Brexit cliff edge.
Brexit Minister David Jones said the final agreement will need to be approved by the Houses of Commons and Lords and that votes will take place before the European Parliament rubber stamps it.
Some Tories were threatening to join forces with opposition MPs over the issue during the committee stage of the EU (Notification Of Withdrawal) Bill because they were worried about quitting the EU without an agreement, with potentially serious consequences for the economy.
Jones told the Commons: “First of all we intend the vote will cover not only the withdrawal arrangements but also the future relationship with the European Union.
“Furthermore, I can confirm that the Government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be approved by both houses of Parliament before it is concluded and we expect and intend that this will happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.”
May had warned potential rebels they would be going against the democratic will of the British people if they sided with the opposition to put constraints on the Government in the Bill.
But the apparent concession indicates ministers were concerned about being defeated in a vote on an amendment to the Bill tabled by Labour MP Chris Leslie.
Conservative former minister Anna Soubry had told MPs she may have “no alternative” but to vote against the Government unless a vote on the Brexit deal was guaranteed before it is agreed with the EU.
The PM has made clear she will walk away from talks if no deal can be reached, but the potential rebels have been worried about quitting the EU with no negotiated trading terms.