Theresa May met with EU leaders on Sunday, as they voted on whether to approve her draft withdrawal agreement. All 27 leaders agreed the bill, passing the next stage of Brexit over to UK Parliament. For this, Parliament will have days of debate before a final vote.
What date will the meaningful vote be?
In a letter to Conservative MPs, chief whip Julian Smith indicated that the “meaningful vote” on Theresa May’s Brexit deal is expected to take place on December 11.
Mr Smith said that the vote would come after five days of debate, starting on Tuesday, December 4 and told MPs that attendance in the voting lobbies should take priority over any Christmas gatherings.
The letter read: “As we approach the end of the calendar year I wanted to write to give you advance notice of the Parliamentary business over the next few weeks.
I am sure there will be many seasonal gatherings organised, but if you could continue to keep in mind the requirement for your attendance in the division lobbies to take priority I would be grateful.”
The letter gives a timetable of political events for two weeks, beginning December 2.
On Tuesday, December 4 through to Tuesday, December 11 Parliament will debate and then vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
The exception is Friday, December 7 and Saturday and Sunday December 8 and 9 as the house is not sitting.
In her third statement to the Commons on leaving the EU, she said: “I’m looking ahead to December 11th, when this House will be faced with a decision as to whether or not it wishes to deliver on the vote of the British people with a deal that not only delivers on that vote but also protects their jobs.”
The Prime Minister will be preparing to face fierce opposition to her withdrawal agreement, as several MPs have already spoken out against the deal.
Today in the Commons, Mrs May faced an onslaught of questions from former Cabinet ministers as she pitched her Brexit deal to the Commons.
The Prime Minister was forced to repeatedly defend her strategy as senior Tory members lined up to criticise everything from the Northern Irish border agreement to pledges around future economic security.
Tory former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon described the deal as a “huge gamble”, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson argued it did not “provide certainty to business” and ex-Brexit secretary David Davis asked why Mrs May was not withholding the £39 billion divorce bill until a comprehensive trade agreement had been reached.
Sir Michael said: “Well nobody can doubt that the Prime Minister has tried her very best, are we not nonetheless being asked to take a huge gamble here?
“Paying, leaving, surrendering our vote and our veto without any firm commitment to frictionless trade or the absolute right to dismantle external tariffs.
“Is it really wise to trust the future of our economy to a pledge simply to use best endeavours?”