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Brexit

UK Prime Minister May backs down on parliament vote over her Brexit terms

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 7:06am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 7:06am

Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted that Parliament should be allowed to vote on her plan for taking Britain out of the European Union, but asked lawmakers to do it in a way that gives her space to negotiate.

The decision may calm investors after they dumped the pound on concern May was taking a gung-ho approach to the negotiations. The currency took a beating, falling more than 6 per cent this month, after May signalled her intention to put immigration curbs before the City of London’s interests in pulling Britain out of European Union.

British pound slumps to 31-year low after Brexit timetable announced

Parliament will debate on Wednesday a motion from the opposition Labour Party calling for a “full and transparent debate on the government’s plan for leaving the EU” and for Parliament to be able to “properly scrutinize that plan” before she begins formal talks. The request is supported by some lawmakers from May’s own Conservative Party.

In response, May late on Tuesday tabled an amendment that effectively accepted the motion, adding that there shouldn’t be an attempt to block Brexit or “undermine the negotiating position of the government.”

A look at the debate about the role of Parliament in Brexit and why it matters.

While the concession is unlikely to stop Britain’s departure it does give lawmakers in favor of maintaining close ties to the 28-nation trade bloc -- probably more than half of the chamber -- a tool to pressure a premier with only a slim majority in Parliament.

Against this backdrop, a London Court this week will rule whether May can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts an exit, without approval from her fellow lawmakers.

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