David Davis's 'big' Brexit concession

Jeremy Corbyn

"I can now confirm that once we've reached an agreement we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement, as we know as the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill". Before Remainers get the prosecco out, it's worth noting that Davis said in the event of a "no deal" scenario, MPs and peers would not have any vote as there would not be anything to have a bill based on.

The move comes ahead of a pivotal week for the Government's other key Brexit legislation, with more than 400 amendments tabled to the EU Withdrawal Bill - planned to convert EU law into United Kingdom law before March 2019 - ahead of its return to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Labour's Keir Starmer called it a "significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat".

Mr Davis said that the new law will enable Parliament to go through the legislation on a "line-by-line" basis, but raises the prospect of a divisive parliamentary showdown on the eve of Brexit.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who co-chairs a cross-party parliamentary group of pro-EU MPs, said: "David Davis's announcement just now that there will be an Act of Parliament to approve a final EU deal is totally insufficient". However, a number of MPs on both sides of the House queried whether a vote at the very last minute would be "meaningful". Almost 200 amendments have been tabled for the Bill. With less than 24 hours before they had to defend their flawed bill to parliament they have finally backed down.

"We might have left the European Union, the treaty and the deal would have been done and Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement". However, like everything with this government the devil will be in the detail.

Mr Davis has warned, however, that Britain will exit without an agreement if MPs vote down parts of the bill. "They need to accept Labour's amendments that would ensure transitional arrangements, and protect jobs and the economy from a cliff edge".

Ten Conservative MPs had signed an amendment insisting the promised "meaningful vote" had to take the form of standalone legislation, threatening the Government with possible defeat.

Mr Davis said the probable sequence of events would see the withdrawal agreement concluded in the "latter part of next year", with the European Union aiming for October.



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