Politics

MPs MUST vote on Brexit to make it legal, May concedes: Remainers could unpick deal

Theresa May has conceded that MPs vote to make Brexit legal.

Theresa May has conceded that MPs vote to make Brexit legal

Theresa May and David Davis had previously insisted MPs would only get a ‘take it or leave it’ vote.

However, behind the scenes, ministers said this wouldn’t be workable as key elements of the deal must be implemented directly into British law.

This change would allow them to unpick key parts of the deal with amendments.

However, the concession of a binding Parliament vote could be revealed as early as next month.

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A Whitehall source told the paper this is likely to be announced when the Withdrawal bill returns to the Commons committee stage next month.

Mr Davis’s promise to give “direct effect” to the rights of EU citizens in UK law is one pledge that could not be completed by secondary legislation.

Earlier this month EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK and EU have “two common objectives” on citizens’ rights: to give the withdrawal agreement "direct effect”; and to ensure citizens’ rights are interpreted consistently in the UK and EU.

Mrs May also vowed to strengthen legal protections for EU citizens living in the UK during her landmark Florence speech, and experts say that this needs to be enshrined in an Act of Parliament to guarantee entrenching citizens rights.

David Davis promised to give “direct effect” to the rights of EU citizens in UK law.

David Davis promised to give “direct effect” to the rights of EU citizens in UK law

The upcoming concession comes as ministers were warned promises made in negotiations would need full parliamentary authority.

This would also stop any last-minute legal challenges to the Brexit deal as everything would be explicitly authorised as an Act of Parliament.

Ten pro-EU Tories have signed up to an amendment to legislation ensuring that Brexit is “subject to the prior enactment of a statute by parliament approving the final terms of withdrawal”.

Former attorney-general Dominic Grieve proposed the amendment, and it is likely to get opposition support.

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MP Nicky Morgan has said she understands the government is working on a “concession strategy” involving enshrining the deal in UK law.

Last week David Davis confirmed that MPs would get to vote on a Brexit deal before we exit the bloc.

The Brexit Secretary moved to clarify his position after suggesting Parliament may not be able to vote on the deal until after Britain has left the bloc during questioning by the Commons Brexit Committee last week.

After strong criticism from some Remain-backing MPs, the Brexit Secretary released a statement confirming MPs will get to vote on the deal before Britain’s official exit.

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