Lords rebellion will make European Union talks tougher, says PM

Brexit Secretary David Davis

They want the Prime Minister to ensure that Parliament gets a "meaningful" say on the deal she agrees - not simply a "take-it-or-leave it" vote.

The Commons Exiting the EU Committee said the Government should act unilaterally and not wait for a reciprocal assurance over the position of British citizens in the EU.

The committee's findings are not binding on May's government who have said the status of European Union nationals in Britain will be given priority once Brexit talks start with Brussels.

The government must safeguard the rights of European Union citizens in the United Kingdom after Brexit immediately, and not leave them with huge uncertainty for up to two years, a group of MPs has said. The Bill does not set the terms of our European Union exit; it is not about whether we leave - that decision was taken by the British people on June 23rd previous year - it is simply the permission from Parliament, in line with the judgement of the Supreme Court, for negotiations to begin.

They feel uncertain since the result of the referendum, and we ought to be doing everything that we can to try and bring that uncertainty to an end.

In other words to say "It's OK you can stay", while of course, continuing to urge the other 27 member states to do the same for the Brits overseas.

"I want something that specifies not only the timing of the vote, which I think we have got now - before it goes to the European side and the European Parliament for ratification - but I also want it made clear that there is a vote on whether or not there is a deal or no deal".

He suggested that the UK's European neighbours have realised that there is a lot at stake for the EU if an amicable agreement can not be thrashed out after Article 50 has been triggered by May this month.

Her spokesman said this position risks being undermined by the Lords' demands on a final vote.

"At the end of the day the referendum has taken place, the public voted and that must be respected".

"Engaging parliament throughout the process can only but help improve the prime minister's negotiating hand, and a vote at the end will, I am sure, be conducted in the best interests of our country".

However, the bill could "ping-pong" between the two houses, delaying its passage into law by about a week until 14 March.

Speaking during Home Office questions in the House of Commons, the Gainsborough MP used the UK's continuing failure to deport foreign criminals to underscore his point.

"People can read what they like into it", he said.

The ex-Tory chancellor said calls for a "meaningful vote" on the final deal were "cover" for not wanting to leave.

"If we are faced with a potentially catastrophic "falling off a cliff", the least we can do is provide a parliamentary safety net", she wrote in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.



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