MPs to be given vote on final Brexit deal

Michel Barnier and David Davis

Michel Barnier and David Davis

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.

Davis said: "We have always said we will do whatever is necessary to prepare for our exit, including bringing forward further legislation, and that is exactly what we are doing".

However, the offer was immediately attacked by both Labour and Conservative politicians, who expressed anger that it did not give parliament any say in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

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

"We might have left the European Union, the treaty and the deal would have been done and Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement".

The proposed Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill will cover issues such as an agreement on citizens' rights, the UK's financial settlement and the details of a transitional period.

"By announcing this bill, we are providing clarity and certainty - both in the negotiations and at home - about the final agreement being put into United Kingdom law". How big a concession the government has made remains up for debate.

Fellow Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach similarly labelled the Government's promise "meaningless" should Brexit talks slip beyond March 2019.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said the Tories had performed a "significant climbdown" after David Davis, his opposite number in government, announced there would be a binding vote on any deal.

"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.

What's more, there's no clarity on whether rejecting the bill would mean sending the government back to renegotiate or just result in the United Kingdom going for "no deal" and exiting on WTO terms.

The Brexit deal will form a specific Act of Parliament, to be voted on by the Houses of Commons and Lords in early 2019.

Labour former minister Chris Leslie added: "Hasn't (Mr Davis) just given the game away of what a sham offer this is?"

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

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.