- Labour, Green, Lib Dem and SNP MPs rally outside Parliament ahead of crucial amendment 7 vote.
- MPs will vote whether Parliament should get a meaningful vote on any final Brexit deal.
LONDON – MPs from across the Commons rallied outside Westminster on Wednesday morning ahead of a key vote on whether Parliament should be given a meaningful vote on a final Brexit deal.
MPs will vote tonight on an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which seeks to give Parliament the power to either approve or reject any Brexit deal reached between British and EU negotiators before exit day in March 2019.
Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrat Tom Brake and the SNP’s Stephen Gethins joined campaigners from anti-hard Brexit group Open Britain in a demonstration outside Parliament.
“What the Brexiters are worried about is that Parliament’s going to have its say,” Brake told Business Insider.
“They have wanted from the beginning to railroad it through. That’s why, for instance, they have objected to the Article 50 bill. They’re not interested in parliamentary scrutiny, they want to just ram this through, get it done.
“But actually, Parliament must be central to this. This is the single biggest change the United Kingdom will have made if we proceed with Brexit. “That’s why Parliament has got to be at the centre of it.”
— People's Vote HQ (@peoplesvote_hq) December 13, 2017
Brexit Secretary David Davis has attempted to head off a Conservative rebellion by assuring them that UK government will not use the so-called “Henry III powers” until the Commons has voted in favour of the final Brexit deal.
Dominic Grieve, the Tory MP who tabled the amendment, said Davis’ offer did not meet the demands of MPs.
“The government needs to listen to what’s being said to them,” he told Sky News.
“And at the moment, unfortunately, my impression of the last few days, when I’ve been talking to the government, is that it seems to be a bit of a dialogue of the deaf.”
Green co-leader Lucas urged Conservative MPs not to back down.
“A meaningful vote in Parliament on this issue is what people are calling for,” she told BI.
“Meaningful basically means that there is still time to go back and negotiate something better, not that you’re told this is a “take it or leave it’.”
“I think unfortunately the government producing a written statement at the 11th hour when they have been able to consider Dominic Grieve’s amendments for weeks and weeks and weeks doesn’t do it for me,” Brake added.
“I don’t think they’re genuine, they have consistently tried to block Parliament from being fully engaged in this process.
“All members of parliament who believe in parliamentary sovereignty have got to vote for Amendment 7 tonight.”
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