Brexit Parliament votes

Posted on: 02/02/2017

During the evening sitting of Parliament on 1st February 2017 MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the government’s Brexit bill, by 498 to 114 votes bringing Britain’s departure from the EU moved a step closer.  After two days of debate, MPs voted to push the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill through to the next stage. After the bill fully clears parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger Article 50 and begin formal negotiations with the EU.  Read More

But last Monday night an amendment was tabled that, if passed, would mean Parliament must approve the exit terms before any exit from the EU can happen.  To actually win it would need around 20 Conservative rebels to vote for the amendment (or 40 to abstain) on Tuesday afternoon. This is a tall order: for a backbench amendment to defeat the Government on an issue of such importance is exceedingly rare. But it could happen. (NC99 - see here for the wording). 

The UK government has now formally set out its plans for exiting the European Union in a formal policy document for the first time. The White Paper (77 pages) lays out the government's 12 "principles" including migration control and "taking control of our own laws". Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK's "best days are still to come", outside the EU.  Section 8 is entitled “Ensuring free trade with European markets” the introduction says “The Government will prioritise securing the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods and services between the UK and the EU. We will not be seeking membership of the Single Market, but will pursue instead a new strategic partnership with the EU, including an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and a new customs agreement.”

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