An overview of the ‘Meaningful Vote’ Amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

On Wednesday 20th June I voted in support of Dominic Grieve MP's amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which sought to solidify Parliament's role in the case of a "no deal" situation. I am sure you will know that we were defeated, however I am confident that significant progress was made towards our aims.

In essence, not only did Government incorporate an amendment which stated that Parliament would be able to consider the next steps in the case of a "no deal" scenario, they also went further. David Davis has published a written ministerial statement, which states:

The Government put forward three amendments to amendment 19P carried in the House of Lords on 18 June. In these amendments, reference is made to a motion ‘in neutral terms’.

The purpose of this written ministerial statement is to set out the Government’s understanding of the way in which this reference to ‘in neutral terms’ will operate in practice.

Under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons it will be for the Speaker to determine whether a motion when it is introduced by the Government under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is or is not in fact cast in neutral terms and hence whether the motion is or is not amendable.

The Government recognises that it is open for Ministers and members of the House of Commons to table motions on and debate matters of concern and that, as is the convention, parliamentary time will be provided for this.

The statement can be viewed in full here.

So, although I was disappointed that we did not secure a ‘belt and braces’ amendment physically embedding this commitment into the legislation - the amendment and this statement combined will, should we need them to, have the same effect.

We will next turn our attention to the Trade Bill which will come to the House of Commons in July. Here we will debate our future customs arrangements more rigorously and I have already added my name in support of a number of amendments, which I have outlined in further detail here.

Parliamentary sovereignty means MPs and Peers have an exceptionally important role to play in scrutinising both the legislation which will give effect to the result and the deal itself. As the MP for South Cambridgeshire, it is my job to carry out that scrutiny on behalf of my constituents and I take that responsibility incredibly seriously.