MEPs back sufficient progress on Brexit

Cheryl Sanders
December 13, 2017

Parliament President Antonio Tajani welcomed the vote in Strasbourg, eastern France, as "an important step forward" but said MEPs still had concerns about citizens' rights and the Irish border.

After six days of debate in parliament ranging from the legal minutiae of Brexit to the gaping differences between "Remainers" and "Leavers", May could face a defeat as lawmakers demand more say over the final exit deal.

Mr Davis also penned a last-gasp letter to Tory MPs early on Wednesday morning as ministers battle to avoid a defeat.

"I don't want to defeat the Government".

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith accused Grieve of "grandstanding" and trying to tie the government's hands in negotiations.

"In order to continue benefiting from the freedoms of establishment and to provide air services within the European Union internal market as of the withdrawal date, air carriers are advised to consider any measure required to ensure that the conditions for holding an European Union operating license are complied with in all circumstances", the notice said.

Ms Sandbach was among the MPs branded "Brexit mutineers" by the Daily Telegraph for her votes in Parliament on Brexit. Keir Starmer, the party's Brexit spokesman, tweeted: "The terms of our future are not for the Government alone to determine".

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said he would force a vote on an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill unless ministers back down.

It has since conceded that a separate piece of legislation, allowing members of parliament (MPs) more say on the deal, would be necessary. Grieve urged rebels not to be bought off by "warm words and woolly concessions".

The poll, commissioned by the Best for Britain campaign, found 32 per cent of people think there should be a referendum on the UK's final Brexit deal, while a further 21 per cent believe MPs should get the final say.

He said he tabled the change because without it the government had the power to push the final deal through by the use of statutory instruments, denying MPs the vote they have already been promised by ministers on the outcome of the negotiations.

The European Parliament will have to approve any Brexit deal, although its motion on Wednesday, backed by 556 votes for to 62 against, was not binding.

He condemned "unacceptable" comments by Britain's Brexit Minister David Davis in which Davis said a deal struck to seal separation arrangements and open talks on future relations was a "statement of intent" rather than "legally enforceable".

German MEP Manfred Weber, leader of the parliament's centre-right EPP group and an ally of Angela Merkel, said the first stage of the Brexit process was "designed to build trust" but that risked being "destroyed" by Mr Davis over the issue of whether the divorce bill would only be paid if there was a UK-EU trade deal.

Britain and the European Union clinched a divorce deal last Friday, paving the way for them to start talks on future trade ties and a two-year Brexit transition period that will start when Britain leaves the European Union on March 29, 2019.

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