Brexit committee urges government to publish Brexit plan by mid-February

Parliament must be given a say on "hugely complex task", says the Exiting the European Union Committee

By John Ashmore

16 Jan 2017

The government must publish its EU withdrawal plan by mid-February and give MPs a vote on the final deal, MPs on the Exiting the European Union Committee have said in their first report. 

Ahead of a key speech from Theresa May on Tuesday, the cross-party group of MPs urged ministers to clarify the UK's position in relation to the EU single market and the customs union. 

The committee also called for an outline agreement on the future UK-EU trading relationship, including details of a transitional arrangement. 

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And they demanded that MPs be given a vote on the terms of the Brexit deal once negotiations have concluded.

“This is going to be a hugely complex task and the outcome will affect us all," said Hilary Benn (pictured above), the Labour MP who chairs the committee.

“Whatever deal is concluded, parliament must be given a vote on it and the government should make this clear now" – Hillary Benn, chair of the Brexit committee

"The government needs to publish its Brexit plan by mid-February at the latest, including its position on membership of the single market and the customs union, so that it can be scrutinised by Parliament and the public."

He added: “Ministers should aim to conclude negotiations on trade and market access with the EU-27 by the end of the Article 50 process.

"However, if a final ratified agreement is not reached by the time the UK leaves the EU, it would be in the interests of both sides to agree a provisional outline framework on the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU.

"The government should seek appropriate transitional arrangements in the interests of business in the UK and the EU-27.

“Whatever deal is concluded, parliament must be given a vote on it and the government should make this clear now.”

May said last week that she would use a speech on Tuesday to outline her aims for the upcoming talks with Brussels.

"We will trigger Article 50 by the end of March and next week I will set out more on our objectives for those negotiations, how we will work to get the right deal for Britain and embark on a new, constructive partnership with the EU that makes sense for us all," she told a press conference.

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