UK Parliament To Vote On Final Brexit Bill

14 November, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Michel Barnier and David Davis

Davis shocked the Commons this afternoon when he said MPs would be allowed to vote on a new law which included the terms of Britain's departure from the European Union, any transitional deal and an agreement on the rights of citizens from the bloc.

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

But the Government's beefed-up promise for a parliamentary vote did not dispel concerns surrounding the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Tory backbencher Heidi Allen branded Mr Davis's plan "pointless" as she also highlighted the Government's intention to alter legislation to state Britain's membership of the European Union will formally end at 11pm on 29 March, 2019.

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

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.

"For months, Labour has been calling on ministers to guarantee parliament a final say on the withdrawal agreement".

'The bill is expected to cover the contents of the withdrawal agreement, including issues such as an agreement on citizens' rights, any financial settlement and the details of an implementation period agreed between both sides.

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The second reading of the bill, was voted through in September but this line-by-line stage of debate aims to pinpoint any potential problems, with some 400 amendments having been tabled.

Parliamentary committees will begin scrutinising the Withdrawal Bill on Thursday.

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

The government's hope is that a deal can be reached by next autumn, which would then be put before Parliament ahead of Brexit.

He also added that: "This confirms that the major policy set out in the withdrawal agreement will be directly implemented into United Kingdom law by primary legislation, not by secondary legislation with the Withdrawal Bill".

'This is a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat. "This agreement will only hold if parliament approves it".

"With less than 24 hours before they had to defend their flawed Bill to Parliament they have finally backed down. They need to accept Labour's amendments that would ensure transitional arrangements, and protect jobs and the economy from a cliff edge".

The government has also proposed its own amendment to the legislation - one that opponents say tie its hands in the talks.

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