14 Nov 2017
UK Parliament to vote on final Brexit deal
UK has announced that its Parliament will be given a take-it or leave-it vote on the final Brexit deal.
According to Brexit Secretary David Davis, the MPs will vote on central issues concerning Brexit such as citizenship rights and finances.
Here's more about it.
Do you know?
What is Brexit?
The process for Britain's exit from the EU was triggered following the results of a June 2016 referendum, in which 52% of the voters said Britain should leave the Union. 'Leave' supporters wanted Britain to be rid of EU regulations, including the harmonized economy.
State of affairs
What do EU, UK say about the state of affairs?
The UK's chief negotiator David Davis maintains that a lot of progress has been made in the negotiations. However, his EU counterparts don't entirely agree.
Sir Simon Fraser, an ex-top official at UK's foreign office had earlier alluded to the drawbacks on the British side and stated that it had been "a bit absent" from the negotiations.
He attributed this to inter-cabinet differences.
What is peculiar about the timing of the announcement?
The UK is scheduled to make its exit from the EU by March 2019.
It's under heavy time-pressure to solidify a negotiating position acceptable to both Brussels and the British ruling and opposition MPs.
Moreover, the announcement came ahead of the upcoming vote on another important legislation on Brexit.
According to the BBC, "the government was facing possible defeat on aspects of this bill."
What will the MPs vote on?
According to Davis, the bill comprises of key aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement which the UK needs to finalize before March 2019.
Key priorities include: Future stipulations under EU/UK citizenship and payments that both sides owe each other.
"This means that Parliament will be given time to scrutinize, debate and vote on the final deal we strike with the EU," he added.
MPs express skepticism over government promise
Opposition Labour MPs largely welcomed the "climbdown" from the Conservative government's side. Conservatives reportedly weren't too happy about it. Anna Soubry, a Tory MP termed the announcement "meaningless" and "insulting." "It sounds in theory very good but there's no guarantee." she adds.
What does the announcement signify for Brexit?
The climbdown is indicative of the UK government's weak position at home and in negotiations with the EU.
In terms of procedure, the move adds itself to the list of complex parliamentary procedures that need to be wrapped up before Brexit.
Under current circumstances, it will be extremely difficult for the UK to arrive at a favorable withdrawal deal before the 2019 deadline.