The Brexit Secretary has announced that MPs will have a vote on Britain's deal with the EU. He will do his best to make this vote meaningless—but the truth is that a "no" vote would trigger the collapse of the governmentby Ian Dunt / November 14, 2017 / Leave a comment
Yesterday, David Davis announced what will probably be the most significant bill in Britain’s post-war history. MPs are going to be given a vote, in primary legislation, on the deal he secures with the European Union.
This could prove a key moment in the Brexit debate. Ministers will do all they can to make this vote meaningless, but it could anyway blow up from underneath them.
Davis can already see the dangers. As soon as he announced the promise, he tried to suffocate it with his usual brand of procedural nihilism. This started with the extraordinary assertion that the Commons might only be able to vote on the bill after we’d left the EU. It is a lunatic proposition, of course, but an unsurprising one for anyone who has been following Brexit closely. This process has been defined by empty promises throughout.
There are other caveats. The bill could be amended, like any primary legislation, but if you did that it would necessarily mean the treaty the government had agreed with Europe would have changed. This would promptly stop the ratification process in Europe and probably lead to no-deal. So while the option is there on paper, it would likely be impossible in practice.