By James, Michael Igiri
The British Parliament is to take a final vote on the Brexit deal before the UK leaves the EU.
Although the UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, irrespective of whether MPs back or reject the terms of the deal negotiated by Theresa May’s government, Brexit Secretary David Davis said the terms of the UK’s exit, such as money, citizen rights and any transition must become law via a new Act of Parliament.
BBC 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.
This is coming at a time when MPs are preparing to debate key Brexit legislation with the government facing possible defeat on aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will convert EU law into UK law.
But updating MPs on the sixth round of talks which concluded on Friday, Mr Davis told MPs they would still play a major role and “there cannot be any doubt that Parliament will be intimately involved at every stage”.
This means that Parliament will be given time to scrutinise, debate and vote on the final deal we strike with the EU,” he said, adding that it was not clear when such a bill would be published.
The UK government had previously agreed to give MPs and peers a vote on a Commons motion relating to the final Brexit deal – before it has been voted upon by the European Parliament.
Mr Davis also stressed that a confident government wouldn’t have conceded like this the day before the Brexit debate was due to come back to the Commons in earnest.
“This climbdown does not remotely mean that other grievances over the existing Brexit legislation will disappear.
It doesn’t mean that the next few weeks will suddenly become plain sailing. And if there isn’t a withdrawal deal with the rest of the EU, well, then there can’t be a bill that covers the withdrawal bill.
It’s only in the coming days that the government will know if they have done enough to get the existing plans through.
And the move also of course adds to a massive load of complicated Parliamentary business that has to be cleared before we actually leave,” he concluded.