Saturday

25th May 2019

British MPs' vote could trigger Brexit talks

The UK parliament's lower house is to debate and vote on Monday (13 March) on whether to accept amendments to the Brexit bill, which were added by the upper and unelected House of Lords.

The vote on the EU withdrawal bill, which gives prime minister Theresa May the authority to implement the divorce from the European Union, would allow her to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty already on Tuesday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The House of Lords tweaked the bill last week so that it would protect the rights of EU nationals already living in the UK and guarantee legislators a binding say on the final deal at the end of the exit talks.

May wants those changes overturned, and her Brexit minister David Davis argued on Sunday in an interview that MPs should not tie the prime minister's hands in the talks.

He also admitted that there might not be enough time at the end of the divorce discussions to hold a meaningful vote in parliament.

But he told BBC nevertheless: “It’s inconceivable to me that there wouldn’t be a vote on the outcome."

Davis also argued that the UK would be prepared, if it has to leave the EU with no deal in place.

Both houses would have to agree on the same text of the bill, in a process called parliamentary "ping pong", but it is unlikely that the House of Lords will put up a fight on Monday if the MPs reject their amendments.

Some Conservative MPs are withholding their support for the bill and want to see assurances from the government on allowing parliament to have the final vote over the exit deal, or if May would allow the MPs to have a say what happens if talks break down.

May has a narrow majority of 17 in the House of Commons, making her government vulnerable to Tory rebels siding with the opposition - Labour or Liberal Democrats.

Final countdown

If the two houses agree on the bill on Monday, May will be in a position to launch the Article 50 exit procedure the next day.

That would allow enough room to organise a special EU summit for 6 April, where EU leaders could approve negotiating guidelines for the European Commission and its Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

European Council president Donald Tusk said last week that the EU was ready to respond within 48 hours of getting the official letter of withdrawal from the British government.

UK parliament clears way for Brexit talks

UK MPs refuse to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK and do not expect a "meaningful vote" at the end of the Brexit talks, as May gets ready to trigger Article 50.

Tusk: No deal on Brexit would hit UK hardest

The European Council president warned the UK against getting cosying up to the idea of having no Brexit deal at the end of the divorce negotiations, as the EU gears up for receiving PM May's notification.

Scottish independence ignites Brexit debate

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon will start the process for an independence vote next week, while British prime minister Theresa May insists that Scotland will have to follow the UK out of the EU and the single market.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal

Feature

'Swexit' off menu at election for first time in 24 years

The Swedish Left Party have abandoned euroscepticism to campaign on climate change - whilst the hard-right Sweden Democrats spy possibilities of a link up with Matteo Salvini of Italy and France's Marine Le Pen.

Opinion

Brexit vs Grexit: The six stages of losing to the EU

Theresa May's venture seems very similar to the attempt by Alexis Tsipras in 2015 to persuade Brussels to accept his terms for the bail out - a huge negotiation failure, presented to the public as the best possible deal.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  2. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK
  3. Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'
  4. EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'
  5. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  6. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  7. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  8. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us