Mon, 8 March 2021

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By Jamie Njoku-Goodwin and Tom Watson
By Dr Alan Wager
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MPs could still alter successful Brexit deal, researchers claim

MPs could still alter successful Brexit deal, researchers claim
2 min read

MPs could still alter any Brexit deal secured by Theresa May and voted through Parliament, a group of academics has claimed.

Analysis of parliamentary procedures in Britain and Brussels by the UK in a Changing Europe think tank shows MPs could waive Brexit through - but still force concessions when putting it on the statute books.

They could also make amendments to the Withdrawal Bill, which could even amount to a rejection of the deal.

Researchers Matt Bevington and Alan Wager published 'The Brexit Endgame' to mark six months until the Article 50 deadline, when Britain is due to formally leave the EU.

They said: "If MPs feel they have been press-ganged into voting on a deal that they have not had sufficient time to absorb, this could create problems down the line."

The authors point out that if politicians vote through the deal, they will still have the option to amend the withdrawal agreement when it is translated into a bill.

Anything substantial would amount to a rejection, which is is unlikely, but they could win concessions at this point.

"MPs will have longer to scrutinise [the bill] than the withdrawal agreement so it is therefore conceivable that they will raise issues at this point that they did not have time to bring up or had not considered when the exit deals were passed," they said.

Under its own rules, the government must make a statement by 29 January on what its Brexit game plan is.

If there is no agreement, the authors believe this would be the point when a vote of no confidence could occur under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

This does not automatically trigger a general election but would make one more likely.

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