Tory Bob Neill urges ‘meaningful’ Brexit vote for MPs
A Tory former minister with strong links to Gibraltar has warned he is prepared to vote against the British Government unless Prime Minister Theresa May gives Parliament a proper say on any Brexit deal.
As the House of Lords threatens to impose an amendment on the Brexit Bill specifying Westminster must have a "meaningful" vote on a withdrawal agreement, Bob Neill – secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gibraltar - signalled he could support such a move if it came back to the Commons.
Asked on BBC Radio Four's Westminster Hour if he would back such an amendment, he said: "I'd certainly be inclined to vote in that way unless the Government is able to come up with alternative assurances on the floor of the Commons which has the effect of saying, 'it needn't be on the face of the Bill but this is what will happen'."
Pressed on whether he would trust assurances that were not included in the legislation, Mr Neill said: "That would depend precisely on the form of words that was used, and that's why the ball is in the Government's court.”
"I want something that specifies not only the timing of the vote, which I think we have got now - before it goes to the European side and the European Parliament for ratification - but I also want it made clear that there is a vote on whether or not there is a deal or no deal.”
"If there is no deal, that means that we would potentially leave the EU straight on to World Trade Organisation terms and without any transitional arrangements.”
“I believe that would be deeply damaging for this country and I think Parliament should have the right to consider that."
Mr Neill was speaking as the Prime Minister issued a warning to peers they could "incentivise" the European Union to offer Britain a bad Brexit deal if they pass a further amendment to the Article 50 Bill.
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