MPs “very likely” to get a vote on Brexit deal, shock announcement reveals

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Theresa May”s office said the Government would meet its obligations under the 2010 Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, which made it law that any new treaties must be approved by Parliament before ratification except in “exceptional cases”.

And lawyers for the Government said it was “very likely” that MPs would vote on any new treaties that came out of Brexit talks. 

Mrs May told the Tory Party conference she would invoke Article 50 by the end of March next year to begin the two-year process leading to Britain”s withdrawal from the EU.

It remains unclear whether she expects the process to end in one or more treaties setting out the terms of withdrawal or the nature of the UK”s future relationship with the remaining 27 member states.

The Prime Minister will attend her first meeting of the European Council on Thursday, where council president Donald Tusk has said she will make a presentation to fellow leaders on “the current state of affairs in the country”.

James Eadie QC was defending Mrs May”s decision against a historic legal challenge from a group of campaigners who argue she is in danger of undermining the sovereignty of Parliament.

They say UK citizens face being deprived of statutory rights granted under the European Communities Act 1972, which made EU law part of UK law, without proper scrutiny by Parliament.

Mr Eadie told the court there still would be scrutiny. He argued that a minister using the Royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 without prior parliamentary approval would only be “firing the starting gun” for the Brexit process and it would not in itself change any common law or statutory right enjoyed by citizens.

He said: “Any such changes are a matter for future negotiations, Parliamentary scrutiny, and implementation by legislation.”

And he added that scrutiny was likely to include Parliament having to ratify any new treaty reached with the EU during the Article 50 process.

The QC said: “The Government view at the moment it that it is very likely that any such agreement would be subject to ratification.”

But Mr Eadie stressed he could not go further than “likely” and say it was a certainty.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales reserved their decision on the legal challenge at the end of a three-day hearing, promising to give their judgment “as quickly as possible”.