MPs Will Break For Christmas Tomorrow But Could Be Recalled If A Brexit Deal Is Struck
MPs will be sent home for their Christmas break tomorrow night, but they have been warned they face being recalled as early as next week should there be a Brexit trade deal to vote on.
Parliament officially goes into recess on Thursday evening and after weeks of fraught Brexit talks on trade involving both chief negotiators and Boris Johnson and President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen there is still no deal to vote on in the usual parliamentary time.
This means MPs and peers will break up for the year as usual tomorrow but could be recalled with 48 hours notice should they be required to vote on a deal up until the end of the year.
This leaves Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 of December as possible dates to sit should a deal come forwards, though Downing Street has said it realises time is now in short supply to reach an agreement and Boris Johnson has said that a no-deal outcome is likely.
Parliament is not expected to sit on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day. The 27th is a Sunday, which means Parliament could also resume on 28th December until New Year's Eve.
This raises the prospect that talks will go down to the wire, as Britain is due to leave the transition period on December 31.
Downing Street said they realised that recalling Parliament does not only mean duties resume for MPs and peers but also the staff that run the Commons and Lords, and those who work in the building.
MPs and peers will be given 48 hours notice if they need to travel back to London.
The House of Commons was last recalled on June 2 this year for a few hours earlier than usual to decide which legislation could still be heard during the coronavirus pandemic.
It was also recalled on Monday June 20 in 2016 to pay tribute to murdered Jo Cox MP and on August 29 2013 to discuss Syria and the use of chemical weapons.