David Davis says Parliament might not vote on Brexit deal until after UK leaves EU

Helen Cahill
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Ministers Attend Weekly Cabinet Meeting
Davis spoke to the Brexit Select Committee this morning (Source: Getty)

Parliament will only vote to approve the Brexit deal after the UK has left the EU, Brexit secretary David Davis said today.

He said the withdrawal settlement and a new trade agreement might be signed off at the same time, after the Brexit deadline.

The Brexit secretary has been accused of trying to sideline parliament's role in the Brexit process.

"Yet again the government is treating parliamentary democracy with contempt," said Seema Malhotra, Labour MP and member of the Brexit Select Committee.

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"Time and time again they are desperate to avoid scrutiny. We were promised a 'meaningful' vote on the deal, it beggars belief that it may well come after we leave the European Union.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said: “This is a shameful attempt to force through an extreme Brexit and ride roughshod over our parliamentary democracy.

"It demonstrates the total contempt with which the government holds parliament."

Davis has also said he expects the EU will want to sit down for talks about the Brexit implementation deal by Christmas.

Speaking to MPs this morning, the government's top Brexit negotiator said he is looking to agree a UK-EU deal before March 2019, adding that it could be signed off "nanoseconds" after the Brexit deadline.

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However, he has maintained that the "no deal" option remains on the table.

"It would not be the first time in European negotiations where some last-minute claims come in because they think they have you over a barrel," he said.

Brexit talks have stalled in the past few weeks, with the EU's negotiator saying the second phase of negotiations can't take place because there has not been enough progress on the financial settlement and other issues.

The stalemate has pushed the business community to campaign for a transitional deal which maintains the UK's current relationship with the EU, to buy negotiators more time to finalise a deal.

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