Dominic Raab: MPs will get straight ‘deal or no deal’ vote on Brexit agreement

Posted On: 
18th October 2018

A Commons vote on Theresa May's Brexit agreement must be a straight 'deal or no deal' choice, Dominic Raab has said.

Dominic Raab has written to the Commons’ procedure committee
PA Images

The Brexit Secretary said MPs must make an “unequivocal decision” whenever the so-called "meaningful vote" takes place.

His comments, in a letter to the Commons procedure committee, are a blow for anti-Brexit MPs who have called for a second referendum option to be included in any vote.

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Downing Street has reportedly told the BBC that the Commons motion on any final Brexit deal would be amendable but it was unclear whether it could be voted on before after the vote on the deal.

In his letter, Mr Raab said: “Once the deal is presented to parliament, the procedure through which it is voted upon must allow for an unequivocal decision, and one which is clear to the British public.”

“Anything other than a straightforward approval of the deal will bring with it huge uncertainty for business, consumers and citizens.”

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “Labour doesn’t accept that the choice facing Parliament will be between whatever deal Theresa May cobbles together or no deal.

“That is not a meaningful vote and ministers can’t be allowed to silence parliament. MPs must be given the opportunity to scrutinise, consider and, where appropriate, amend any resolution the government puts forward.

“She clearly doesn’t think she can win a straight vote in parliament without fixing the rules.”

Tory veteran Ken Clarke told the BBC’s Newsnight that the Government they had already lost the argument on having an unamendable vote, when it caved in to pressure from former Attorney General Dominic Grieve earlier in the withdrawal agreement process.

“This is the latest silly tactic, which they won’t get away with,” he said. “What we can’t have is this ’take-it-or-leave it, this is the best we’ve got, you take this or it’s no deal and chaos’.

“It’s just avoiding proper Parliamentary scrutiny and debate. Parliament is going to probably want to give some detailed instructions for the government and temper its approval with conditions.”

Former Conservative minister Nicky Morgan said the move "appears to be an attempt by the executive to frustrate our sovereign Parliament", while colleague Anna Soubry called for MPs "to stand up to this outrage".