Tory rebels 'deadly serious' about backing Brexit vote for MPs

POlitical Sketch October 27 2017 12:01am The Times Fudgement Day for the Commons vote on Brexit deal Patrick Kidd

The Government announced the Brexit Bill will return to Parliament after a delay of a month - as Tories warn they will rebel unless they are given a meaningful vote on the final deal.

Tory MP and chair of the Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan said she was "deadly serious" about an amendment to European Union withdrawal bill, which would ensure that MPs get a say on the final deal.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said Thursday that November 14 will be the first of several days of debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

'Reports have reached members on this side that the Secretary of State doesn't think that those Conservative members who have signed that amendment are serious about supporting it if we need to.

Davis's department issued a statement clarifying his own remarks on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Davis had told the Commons Brexit committee he expected negotiations to go to "the 59th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day and so on".

The debate saw MPs from across the House call for a vote to be written into legislation, with interventions from several high profile Conservative backbenchers.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna said the Brexit secretary's comments were "in clear breach" of what former Brexit minister David Jones had told MPs in February, that parliament would have a "meaningful vote" on the withdrawal deal.

The Brexit secretary had to answer an urgent question from Labour counterpart Keir Starmer after he appeared to say that MPs would be unlikely to have the chance to approve the deal until after the United Kingdom had officially left the European Union, because an agreement would not be struck "at the 59th minute of the 11th hour".

Dominic Grieve, Tory backbencher ad former attorney general, said the United Kingdom and European parliaments must approve any Brexit deal.

Pressed on whether that meant a vote in Parliament on the deal could be after the March 2019 exit date, he replied: 'Yes, it could be'.

"We look forward to continuing the debate and working with Parliament to ensure that we deliver a functioning statute book on exit day".

'In those circumstances isn't it rather fanciful to imagine that having reached a deal with the European Union, they will hold us in some unusual way to ransom because we point out that we need the time to enact the necessary statute.

"Clearly we can not say for certain at this stage when this will be agreed".

'That undertaking is absolutely cast-iron'. "But as Michel Barnier said, he hopes to get a draft deal done by October 2018 and that is our hope as well".

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