MPs to have final Brexit vote by 12 March

MPs will be able to have a final vote on the Brexit deal by March 12, Prime Minister Theresa May has said.

Speaking as she travelled to an EU-Arab League summit in Egypt, Mrs May ruled out holding a so-called “meaningful vote” on her deal this week.

But she said “positive” talks with the EU were “still ongoing” and leaving on March 29 was “within our grasp”.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said delaying the vote was “the height of irresponsibility”.

On the plane to Sharm el-Sheikh for a summit between EU and Arab league leaders, Mrs May said following on from her own visit to Brussels last week and trips by her Brexit secretary and attorney general, her team would be returning to the Belgian capital on Tuesday for further talks.

“As a result of that, we won’t bring a meaningful vote to Parliament this week, but we will ensure that that happens by March 12 ,” she added.

Mrs May has already met European Council President Donald Tusk for talks after landing in Egypt and will meet other EU leaders on the fringes of the summit later.

She said negotiations were continuing over the backstop – the controversial policy that aims to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland – after Parliament voted for her to seek “alternative arrangements” to what is set out in her deal.

Mrs May told reporters the government was “talking to the EU about various ways in which we can find a resolution to the issue that Parliament raised”.

But Sir Keir criticised the delay in a meaningful vote as an “admission of failure”.

He added: “Theresa May is recklessly running down the clock in a desperate attempt to force MPs to choose between her deal and no deal. Parliament cannot stand by and allow this to happen.”


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