UK Parliament to vote on final Brexit deal before Britain leaves EU

Frederick Owens
November 14, 2017

Mr Davis said that the new law will enable Parliament to go through the legislation on a "line-by-line" basis, but raises the prospect of a divisive parliamentary showdown on the eve of Brexit.

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.

"I can now confirm that once we've reached an agreement we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement, as we know as the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill".

Davis claims that by announcing the bill, the government was "providing clarity and certainty - both in the negotiations and at home - about the final agreement being put into United Kingdom law".

Its introduction had been delayed as ministers held talks with Tory critics, and Mr Davis will hope that his concession will take the sting out of any potential rebellion.

The decision was described as a "significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat" by Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer. The timing is key here - but the government are unable to guarantee that it wouldn't be the day before Britain leaves as they can't say for sure when the negotiations will end.

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 European Union laws to Britain.

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

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

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"Pointless if we have enshrined a drop dead date in the Bill, & get a deal at 11th hour!"

In his speech, Mr Rees-Mogg will say: "This is a free trade approach that focuses on consumers, not producers; one that will generate gains to consumers seven times the cost to producers".

What had ministers previously proposed?

MPs are set to continue with detailed discussions today on the EU Withdrawal Bill, drafted to scrap Britain's EU membership.

Why did they change their minds?

Brexit Secretary announces MPs will have the right to vote down any final Brexit deal.

Whitehall sources expect a deal to be concluded by October 2018 with the parliamentary votes to follow soon after.

What if it was voted down? Designed as a concession to the most enthusiastic Brexit supporters in the divided Conservative Party, the proposal would mean there's no way Britain could ask for an extension if talks fail to produce a deal.

Meanwhile, former Tory constitution minister John Penrose welcomed the Government's stronger pledge on a parliamentary vote, but expressed continuing concerns over the use of so-called "Henry VIII powers" as provided by the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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