LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday confirmed that both houses of Parliament will get to vote on the final Brexit deal Britain reaches with the European Union.
In her most wide-ranging and important speech on Brexit to date, the Prime Minister said that both the House of Commons and House of Lords will be given the opportunity to vote on the final Brexit deal. Campaigners have called for such a Parliamentary approval since June’s referendum last year, arguing that many people did not know what exactly what they were voting for, only what they were voting against.
The government faced an embarrassing defeat when it tried to act unilaterally on Brexit, with the Supreme Court ruling that it must ask Parliament for approval on triggering Article 50, the process which officially begins Britain’s exit from the EU.
When Article 50 is triggered, it will begin a two-year negotiating period to work out a final deal, meaning it will be at least 24 months until the House of Commons and the House of Lords get a say on any deal.
May set out a broad framework for the type of deal she will look to negotiate, with 12 key principles:
- Providing certainty about the process of leaving the EU;
- Control of British laws;
- Strengthening the union;
- Maintaining the common travel area with Ireland;
- Rights for EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU;
- Protect workers’ rights;
- Free trade with European markets;
- Pursue new trade agreements with other countries;
- Maintain excellence in science and innovation;
- Cooperation on tackling terrorism and crime; and to pursue a smooth and orderly Brexit.
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