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Archive: how is the ‘meaningful vote’ going to be provided for?

Daniel Greenberg

04 Mar 2019

Timeline outlining all the updates as they unfolded on the Brexit ‘meaningful vote’

Update as of 28 November 2018: 

One of the most delicate parts of the negotiations at the To and Fro Stage of the Parliamentary proceedings on the Bill for the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 concerned the form and process for the ‘meaningful vote’ that the Government had promised Parliament in relation to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Section 13 of the 2018 Act provides an elaborate mechanism for the Parliamentary consideration of the outcome of the negotiations between the UK Government and the European Union, the principal features of which are as follows:

  • Section 13 prevents ratification of the withdrawal agreement unless:
    • a Minister of the Crown has laid a statement before each House of Parliament
    • the withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship have been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons and made available for consideration by the House of Lords and
    • an Act of Parliament has been passed dealing with implementation of the withdrawal agreement
  • If the House of Commons rejects the motion to approve the negotiated agreement, a Minister must make a statement on next steps, which must be made available for consideration by both Houses.
  • If the Prime Minister makes a statement on or before 21 January 2019 that no withdrawal agreement can be reached, a Minister must make a statement on next steps for consideration in both Houses.
  • If on 21 January 2019 there is no withdrawal agreement in principle, a Minister must make a statement on next steps for consideration by both Houses.
  • The latest plan is for the deal agreed between the Government and EU negotiators—the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as endorsed by leaders at a special meeting of the European Council on 25 November 2018—to be put to the House of Lords on 10 December and to the House of Commons on 11 December (following a five-day debate).

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