Parliament to have final say on Brexit deal, David Davis announces

David Davis

Davis said once the terms of Britain's exit, including any financial settlements, any transition deal and agreement on citizen rights, have been drawn up with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, this will have a specific piece of primary legislation that can be debated, amended and voted on by MPs.

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.

"This also means that parliament will... debate, scrutinize and vote on the final agreement we strike with the European Union".

The amendment requiring parliamentary approval of any deal was supported by 10 Tory rebel MPs, who have forced the government's hand on an issue.

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

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 BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the announcement was significant because it represented a big concession to potential Tory rebels and Labour MPs at a highly important moment in the Brexit process.

Labour immediately welcomed a "recognition that the Government is about to lose a series of votes" on the Commons floor.

Davis, along with Prime Minister Theresa May and most of the Conservative party's cabal of Brexiteers have resisted allowing such a final such Act of Parliament.

Speaking in the Commons, Conservative former minister Owen Paterson asked: "If the House of Commons votes down the new withdrawal bill, will the outcome be we still leave on March 29 2019, but without an agreement?"

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "This is a significant climbdown from a weak Government on the verge of defeat". However, like everything with this Government, the devil will be in the detail. "They need to accept Labour's amendments that would ensure transitional arrangements, and protect jobs and economy from a cliff-edge".

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