Amendment 7 to the European Union Withdrawal Bill passed in the House of Commons by just four votes tonight, giving Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal.For all their talk about ‘taking back control’, Brexit supporters have been very reluctant to give Parliament any meaningful power over the Brexit deal. Instead they have preferred to let Prime Minister Theresa May and her appointed Cabinet decide behind closed doors. ‘Taking back control if you’re one of the small political elite allowed into the secret meeting’ doesn’t quite have the same ring about it, does it?
But tonight they lost the debate and lost the vote:
The government’s first Commons defeat on Brexit came after opposition parties joined forces with Conservative rebels during a heated debate in the Chamber on the amendment…
It was backed by the Commons, meaning a new Act of Parliament will have to be passed before ministers can implement the withdrawal deal struck with Brussels.
After the result was announced, one of the rebels, former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, tweeted: “Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process.” [BBC]
All 12 Liberal Democrat MPs voted for the amendment.
As Lib Dem MP Tom Brake added:
MPs insisted on a meaningful vote and dismissed Ministers’ eleventh hour attempts to buy off the rebels.
This is a momentous day for Parliament and a humiliating defeat for Theresa May.
Now that MPs are to have a meaningful vote on the deal, the British people should get one too.
The Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to give people the final say with the choice to exit from Brexit.