David Davis announces final Brexit deal will take form of act of parliament – as it happened
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including David Davis’s Commons statement on Brexit
If he House does that [votes to change the bill], that will be taken I guess by the government as an instruction to go back and speak for them [to Brussels]. Whether that will deliver any outcome, I don’t know.
“We respect the views of the DUP, but we respect the views of other parties in Northern Ireland. No one party should have the only say,” he said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
That is not how a decision as fundamental and as important to Ireland’s future and Britain’s future should be made.
I don’t accept that the options should be limited on the basis of the political arithmetic in the House of Commons.
Illuminating the potential for the Irish question to turn into a Brexit roadblock, Coveney said that those who thought the Irish border question could simply be pushed into the second phase of Brexit talks were mistaken.
“Some people hoped that Ireland and the EU task force would simply allow this issue to drift into phase two in the hope that it would be resolved through some form of trade agreement or trade partnership agreement in the future,” he said. He added that this was “not a viable proposal”.
The EU has indicated that short of a fresh solution from the British government, it sees the best way to achieve an invisible border in Ireland was for Northern Ireland to stay in the Customs Union and the single market, something the DUP has said it will oppose.
This was seen in some quarters as a bid by the EU give Northern Ireland “Hong Kong style” autonomy.
Coveney said he did not believe reports at the weekend that British officials were “horrified” by this proposal. He said:
Anybody whose been following this process knows that Ireland has been consistent and stubborn and strong on the border issue because it’s so important to the functioning of the island of Ireland; linked to a peace process, linked to normal commerce, and the movement of goods, services, livestock, people.
Next few hours going to be really interesting ... Davis' concession has taken wind out of rebels' sails, but not clear yet if they will stand down
Deputy DG of Poland's Lewiatan Business Confederation Grzegorz Baczewski tells me after this morning's No10 visit that two-year transition period "would not have been enough even if we had the rest of deal already done now", adds "the UK should be more specific" to boost talks
I welcome the announcement today that parliament will be asked to approve any withdrawal agreement by statute but it remains the case that the bill as drafted does not reflect what the government is now promising - and the bill will therefore have to be changed to meet the government’s promise.
I hope that my amendment won’t be necessary but it will remain there to be debated and if necessary voted on.
Davis agrees. It will be a meaningful vote, but not one that can undo Brexit, he says.
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