David Davis was contradicted by his own Brexit department over whether MPs can veto his final deal

David Davis.

David Davis.
Carl Court / Getty

    David Davis slapped down by his own Brexit department after claiming MPs might not vote on a final deal until after Brexit day. A spokesperson for the Brexit Secretary’s department says MPs will get a vote on a final Brexit deal before Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

LONDON – Brexit Secretary David Davis has been slapped down by his own department after claiming on Wednesday that MPs might not get to vote on a final Brexit deal until after Britain has left the European Union.

A Department for Exiting the EU spokesman said this afternoon that they “expect and intend” for a parliamentary vote on a final Brexit deal to take place before exit day in March 2019.

This was after the Davis, who is in charge of the department, told a committee of MPs earlier that day that a vote might not take place until Britain has already left the bloc.

When asked by Labour MP Seema Malhotra whether a parliamentary vote might have to take place after the 2019 “Brexit day”, Davis MP said: “Yes, it could be. It can’t come before we have the deal.

“We have said it is our intent and expectation that we will bring it to the British parliament before the European parliament.”

Davis was later contradicted by a spokesperson for his own department, who in a statement said: “We are working to reach an agreement on the final deal in good time before we leave the EU in March 2019.

“Once the deal is agreed we will meet our long-standing commitment to a vote in both Houses and we expect and intend this to be before the vote in the European Parliament and therefore before we leave.

“This morning the Secretary of State was asked a question about hypothetical scenarios. Michael Barnier has said he hopes to get the deal agreed by October 2018 and that is our aim as well.”

Davis was also contradicted his Prime Minister Theresa May, who in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon said: “We are confident we will, the timetable under the Lisbon Treaty does give time until March 2019 for the negotiations to take place.”

A new free trade deal can be agreed within 12 months, Davis claims

Davis told the Brexit committee that he believed a new UK-EU free trade deal will be negotiated in the twelve months that remain of Article 50 talks, amid concerns that the deal May wants to secure will take much longer to agree.

Davis also revealed that he expects several aspects of Britain’s membership of the EU to continue during a transition period, including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Asked whether Britain will continue to accept the ECJ’s jurisdiction, Davis said “certainly initially,” before admitting that the Luxembourg-based court will have sway over UK law until the end of any time-limited transition period.

He also said he “expects” Britain to remain in the Open Skies Agreement, European Medicines Agency, and European Aviation Safety Agency during transition.