EU Parliament backs Brexit talks progression

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World at One, Mr Grieve said his amendment to the bill would not prevent Brexit from happening, but suggested MPs should be able to send the government back to the negotiating table if they did not like the deal that was being put forward.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that the final Brexit withdrawal agreement will be put to a vote in both houses of parliament.

The remarks came after London and Brussels announced a much-anticipated breakthrough in Brexit talks, which paved the way for the two sides to shift to the second phase of talks, related to future trade relations.

Despite ministers having promised MPs a say on the Brexit deal, many fear the Government will merely offer a "take-it-or-leave it" vote.

The vote comes as an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is making its way through Parliament.

His amendment would require new legislation to implement any divorce deal with Brussels before Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019.

May lost by a close margin of 309-305 votes.

"And we will be vigilant; we will not accept any backtracking from the UK", Barnier pointed out.

In a bid to smooth Britain's exit, the bill would transfer thousands of pieces of European legislation onto the United Kingdom statute books, and give ministers powers to amend them to address any technical glitches.

But MPs objected to the fact that these so-called "Henry VIII" powers also extend to the implementation of the final deal on the terms of Brexit and a transition.

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Parliament would then be asked to approve a further piece of legislation to implement the deal.

But ministers want to preserve their special powers - statutory instruments - in the event that this law is not passed in time for Brexit day on March 29, 2019.

The European Parliament was due to vote on Wednesday on a motion urging EU leaders to allow the next phase of EU negotiations to start, albeit with a line criticizing Davis.

Earlier, May had tried to persuade lawmakers to vote with the government for her Brexit blueprint, saying Grieve's amendment would put added time pressure on a government which wants to make Britain ready to leave the European Union in March 2019.

Legally it is crucial - because the law must be ready for Brexit day, to provide certainty.

These included the issue of Northern Ireland's borders, Britain's financial payments to its European partners and the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit.

Grieve had warned that ministers were asking for "a blank check to the government to achieve something that, at the moment, we don't know what it is".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who will be cheered by the fact that only two of his own Brexiteer MPs rebelled to back the Government, said: "This defeat is a humiliating loss of authority for the Government on the eve of the European Council meeting".

Nigel Farage, a long-time member of the European Parliament and a key driving force behind the Brexit campaign, said: "My contempt for career politicians knows no bounds".