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HomePoliticsPM contradicts Davis over MPs' vote on Brexit

PM contradicts Davis over MPs’ vote on Brexit

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Theresa May has expressed her confidence MPs will get a vote on a final Brexit deal before Britain leaves the EU – despite her Brexit Secretary suggesting that might not be the case.

The Prime Minister insisted Brexit talks will end "in time" for a parliamentary vote to be held on the final divorce agreement before the UK's departure date in March 2019.

She was challenged on the issue after David Davis earlier raised the prospect of the UK formally quitting the EU without MPs and peers having had a say on an exit deal.

:: David Davis: Brexit deal will not take 'years'

Asked by Labour's Stephen Kinnock how it would be "possible to have a meaningful vote on something that's already taken place", Mrs May admitted the terms of Article 50 allowed exit negotiations to take place until the very end of the two-year period.

But she added she was "confident" talks would be concluded with enough time left for politicians across Europe to ratify the deal.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Mrs May said: "It is in the interests of both sides – and it's not just this Parliament that wants to have a vote on that deal but actually there will be ratification by other parliaments – that we will be able to achieve that agreement and that negotiation in time for this Parliament to have the vote we committed to."

Video:Davis: MPs' vote 'could be' after exit

The Prime Minister faced shouts of "shambles" from opposition benches as she finished answering Mr Kinnock's question.

Her comments contradicted Mr Davis's remarks to the House of Commons' Exiting the EU committee on Wednesday morning, where he claimed a Brexit deal might only be agreed "at the 59th minute of the 11th hour".

In such a scenario, the Brexit Secretary said a parliamentary vote would be "as soon as possible thereafter", adding: "It can't come before we have the deal."

Pressed on the point, Mr Davis admitted a parliamentary vote "could be" after March 2019.

Responding to Mr Davis's committee appearance, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "David Davis and Theresa May's comments only add to the confusion and chaos over the Government's approach to the Brexit negotiations.

"Labour has been clear from the outset that Parliament must have the final say on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union before March 2019.

"Ministers must urgently clarify their comments and accept Parliament will not be side-lined."‎


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