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7 Feb, 2017 16:48

MPs promised final ‘take it or leave it’ vote on Brexit deal in govt concession

MPs promised final ‘take it or leave it’ vote on Brexit deal in govt concession

Prime Minister Theresa May has conceded to MPs and given the House of Commons a vote on any proposed Brexit deal before it is put to the European Parliament.

Brexit minister David Jones made the announcement in the Commons at the start of a four-hour debate on how MPs will be asked to approve the final form of a deal with the EU.

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer praised the move, which he described as a “huge and very important concession.”

Speaking to MPs, Jones said: “The government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be approved by both houses of parliament before it is concluded.

We expect and intend that this will happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.”

He later confirmed that the vote would be on a “take it or leave it” basis, meaning the government would not continue negotiations with Brussels if MPs did not like the proposal.

In response, Starmer said: “That is a huge and very important concession about the process we are about to embark on. The argument I have made about a vote over the last three months is that the vote must cover the Article 50 deal and any future relationship and that it must take place before the deal has been concluded.

Pro-EU Tory MP Ken Clarke warned parliamentarians not to become too excited by the move, cautioning that “leaping on a concession may be unwise before we are sure what it amounts to.

Speaking from the backbenches, former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw said the scope of the vote would be important as MPs could be “faced with a choice between hard Brexit and World Trade Organization rules, which is no choice.