Thank you for contacting me about parliamentary approval of the final terms for leaving the EU.
During debates on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, also known as the Article 50 Bill, I argued that Parliament needed a say on the country's withdrawal from the EU. The Government agreed and promised that there would be frequent reports to Parliament during the negotiations.
This means that the final deal will be put to a vote in the House of Commons and the House of Lords before it is concluded. Parliament will be able to accept the deal or not. I expect this vote to take place before the European Parliament votes on the agreement. The Government has also made clear that there will be a significant amount of legislation passing through Parliament during the process of exiting the EU. Parliament will be able to debate, scrutinise and vote on these important decisions. This means that MPs will have their say at every stage.
I do not believe, however, that giving Parliament the power to send Britain back to the negotiating table would be helpful. It would undermine the country's negotiating position and deliver a worse deal.
It is also not within the power of the UK Government to unilaterally extend the negotiating period. EU law states that this period can only be extended with the unanimous agreement of the remaining member states of the EU and it may well not be in the gift of the Government to fulfil it.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.