May to put Brexit deal to MPs' vote before it goes to European parliament
时间：2019-11-16 责任编辑：籍逋姨 来源：澳门拉斯维加斯 点击：87 次
Theresa May will allow MPs to vote on any proposed deal before it is put to the European parliament, in a move designed to see off the threat of a Conservative backbench rebellion.
David Jones, a Brexit minister, made the announcement on Tuesday in the House of Commons at the start of a four-hour debate on how MPs will be asked to approve the final form of a deal with the EU, after two years of talks.
It was initially welcomed by the shadow Brexit secretary, , as a “huge and very important concession”.
Allowing MPs to vote on any proposed deal with the EU before it is rubber-stamped in Brussels would theoretically allow the government to return to the negotiating table if parliament deemed it unacceptable.
However, the government subsequently confirmed parliament would only be allowed to vote on a “take it or leave it basis”, leading a string of and SNP MPs to say it was still not satisfactory or meaningful.
Labour’s Angela Eagle, a former shadow cabinet minister, said it was a “Hobson’s choice”, while Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, said ministers were “treating parliament with contempt” by offering parliament a “choice” between an extreme Brexit and a cliff edge.
Conservative rebels were not immediately satisfied by the concession Jones offered. One told the Guardian it was not enough, but said they hoped the Brexit secretary, David Davis, would further clarify it.
A second insisted it was “nearly there” but said potential rebels were determined that the word “agreement” would cover a situation in which there was no deal, meaning the UK would default to World Trade Organisation rules. They said parliament must “get a vote in all scenarios”.
The government’s concession was made at the very beginning of a four-hour debate on the form of the vote at the end of negotiations. Starmer began saying the government’s refusal to offer a meaningful vote was a “dividing line”, before Jones interrupted to say No 10 would give MPs a vote before the European parliament got one.
“The government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be approved by both houses of parliament before it is concluded,” Jones told MPs. “We expect and intend that this will happen before the European parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.”
A surprised Starmer was then left struggling for issues to talk about, since he said Labour’s demands for a meaningful vote at the end of the negotiating period had “been met in large part”.
“The argument I have made about a vote over the last three months is that the vote must cover the article 50 deal and any future relationship and that it must take place before the deal has been concluded,” Starmer said.
A number of MPs immediately warned Starmer that he may have been too hasty in accepting the concession, while others urged Jones to outline further details about the form of the vote, given parliament was about to proceed with a four-hour debate on the issue.
Ben Bradshaw, a Labour former minister, said the scope of the vote was equally important, as MPs could be “faced with a choice between hard Brexit and World Trade Organisation rules, which is no choice”.
Ken Clarke, the pro-EU Conservative former chancellor, then told Labour that “leaping on a concession may be unwise before we are sure what it amounts to”.
Jones confirmed later that a House of Commons vote on the Brexit deal would be “take it or leave it”, meaning the government would not go back to the negotiating table with Brussels if MPs did not like the proposal.
The Green party strongly criticised the Labour reaction. Lucas said MPs “must not be duped by the government’s attempt to quell unrest on their backbenches”.
“Parliament should have a real voice on the terms of Brexit – not a symbolic handout from a government trying to railroad their extreme Brexit through the House of Commons.
“The Labour frontbenches’ premature celebration of this non-announcement was utterly misguided. In the few hours we have to analyse the article 50 bill it’s crucial that MPs are forensic, not fawning in the face of government spin.”
Alex Salmond, the SNP former leader and first minister, also said the government’s conduct was unacceptable, as Jones had not put forward an amendment to the Brexit bill to guarantee the timing of the vote.