Commons vote to ratify Brexit deal likely, says No 10


Commons vote to ratify Brexit deal likely, says No 10

Downing Street has said it is “very likely” MPs will be able to vote on the final Brexit agreement reached between the UK and the European Union.

A government lawyer made the comment in the High Court and No 10 confirmed it was the “government”s view that is being represented”.

The UK is expected to leave the European Union in 2019.

The deal reached is expected to deal with migration controls and whether the UK remains in the single market.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said the government”s move to allow a vote after an agreement has been negotiated with the EU was unlikely to satisfy critics of Prime Minister Theresa May”s approach to Brexit.

They are pressing for a parliamentary vote before she begins negotiations next spring – but Mrs May opposes this, saying ministers should decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which begins the two years of talks.

Norman Smith said the latest government comments raised the possibility that any deal negotiated by Mrs May could be rejected by Parliament.

The government is currently fighting a legal case over whether Parliament should have a vote before Article 50 is triggered.

During the High Court hearing, government lawyer James Eadie QC moved on to what was likely to happen at the end of the negotiations, in 2019, saying: “The government view at the moment is it is very likely that any such agreement will be subject to ratification.”

If this vote ends with MPs rejecting the Brexit deal, the UK would still leave the EU, Lord Pannick, who is acting for the campaigners challenging the government, told the court.

“Parliament cannot reverse the notification,” he said.

The UK would either leave with no agreement or reach a new one, he said, adding: “But the new agreement cannot restore the rights that are irretrievably lost, and whether there is a new agreement is out of the hands of Parliament.”

UK voters opted in favour of leaving the EU by 51.9% to 48.1% in a referendum in June.

The three-day High Court hearing ends on Tuesday.