A little under a year from now, parliament has an opportunity to deliver a rebuke to the government’s Brexit strategy that would make its latest rebellion look like a gentle wag of the finger by comparison. Lawyers are quick to caution that the dramatic vote on Wednesday night to amend the EU withdrawal bill does not in itself give MPs a right to veto Brexit next autumn. The revolt led by the former attorney general Dominic Grieve merely prevents the government from ploughing ahead with whatever exit deal it secures in Brussels without first establishing support in the House of Commons. In theory, therefore, the threat of a “no deal” Brexit still hangs over the negotiations. MPs are also unable to directly force the rewriting of any agreed divorce arrangement, let alone assume that European negotiators or MEPs would accept any suggested changes in time for it to make a difference. “What this amendment, on its own, doesn’t do is directly enable parliament to force government back to the negotiating table if it doesn’t like the deal,” said Mark Elliott, professor of public law at Cambridge University. “Nor does the fact that parliament could amend the bill approving the withdrawal… Read full this story
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