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  • 15.12.2018

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UK MP assert final say on Brexit deal
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15.12.2018

UK MP assert final say on Brexit deal

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British MPs have delivered a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans by giving Parliament the final say on any exit agreement the government reaches with the European Union.

The House of Commons voted 309-305 to give MPs what is essentially a veto on the terms of Brexit, a challenge to May's fragile authority amid the already strained disentanglement process. The vote came on the eve of a major EU summit.

A dozen lawmakers from the prime minister's governing Conservative Party sided with the opposition to insist that any withdrawal deal with the EU requires an act of Parliament to take effect.
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May had promised lawmakers a "meaningful vote" on the departure agreement, but political opponents and some within her own party said her assurance was not enough of a guarantee.

The vote was the government's first defeat in Parliament on its Brexit legislation.

It came as an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, the government's flagship piece of Brexit legislation.
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The bill itself, which still is moving through Parliament, would convert some 12,000 EU laws into British statutes on the day the UK leaves the bloc in March 2019. Without it, Britain could face a legal black hole the day after Brexit.

The government said it was disappointed with the result and would see whether changes were now needed to the "essential" legislation.

If the amendment survives a final vote on the withdrawal bill, it would not have a direct impact on Britain's negotiations with the EU. But it could reinforce perceptions in the bloc that May lacks authority.
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It increases pressure on May, who is caught between the opposing wings of a government and Parliament deeply split over Brexit.

The vote was hailed by those who support a "soft Brexit" - in which Britain continues to align closely with the EU - as a sign that the government will have to pay more attention to Parliament, where pro-EU forces are in a majority.
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